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octrine of Unifonnity — Dinner at Miss Rogers* — Babbage's Ninth Bridg- 
water Treatise — Letter to Herschel on Coral Islands — Copenhagen — 
Invention of Eleotrio Telegraph — Visit to Sorgen-fri — Norway — 
Geology — Paris — Von Bnch — Mademoiselle Mars — New railroad — 
Barridre de I'Btoile — Return to London — Parties .... 


JANUARY 1838 — OCTOBER 1841. 

* Elements of Geology * — Sedgwick's Lecture — WhewelVs * Inductive 
Sciences ' — Anniversary at the Geological Society — Darwin on Volcanic 
Phenomena — Visit to Norwich and Yarmouth —Newcastle Meeting — 
Darwin's Journal — Coral Reefs — Athenieum Club — Dr. Fitton's Review 
•^Button's claims— British Association at Birmingham — Visit to Sir 
Robert Peel— Travelling in the United States— Rapid growth of the 
country — Niagara geology tif» 


JUNE 1842 — DECEMBER 1843. 

Niag:ira — Nova Scotia — Subterranean Forest — Unfair statements on the 
United States — Return to England — Contemplates writing a Journal 
of his impressions of America — Much geological work in prospect — 
^iiant*s Causeway— I/ord Rosse's Telescope— Prescott's Mexico • 60* 



JANUARY 1844 — DECEMBER 1846. 


Letter to Mr. Ticknor on America — Fossil Botany — Qoes with Faraday on 
a Commission of Inquiry on Accidents in Collieries — Blanco White s 
Biography — Newfoundland — Politics in Maine — Vegetation in Georgia 
— Slavery — Cheirotherium — Icebergs — Letter to Bdward Forbes, and 
reply— Dinner at Milman's— Visit to Bowood 83 



Anniversary at Geological Society — Editorship of the * Edinburgh Review ' 
— Call on Rogers — His remarks on Historians — Breakfast with him — 
Chapter on Universities in < Second Travels * — Rare Books— British 
Association, Oxford — Linnsea Borealis — Decay of the Drama — Hugh 
Miller's • First Impressions of England ' — Visit to Bowood —Party at 
Sir Robert Peel's— Meeting at Royal Society — Knighthood — Dinner 
with the Archbishop of Dublin 1 20 


JANUARY 1849 — JULY 1861. 

Dr. Hooker in India —Macaulay's 'History of England' — Tour on Dee- 
side — Visit to Sir James Clark — Balmoral — Ticknor's * History of 
Spanish Literature * — Visit to Germany — Botany of the Hartz — Geology 
of Saxony — Letters of Ignatius — Prejudice against Science — Tracta- 
rianism — Lecture at Ipswich — Exhibition in Hyde Park — RaflFael's 
Cartoons 152 



Departure for America — Electric Cable — Geology in Nova Scotia and New 
Brunswick — Visit to Sir Edmund and Lady Head— Expedition to 
Vermont — New York Exhibition — Visit to Osborne — Madeira —Geology 
-Wonderful Orchid 170 


JANUARY 1856 — AUGUST 1856. 

Of Edward Forbes — Berlin— Dr. Hooker's Introduction to * Flora 
* — Hugh Miller — Entomology — Macaulay and Prescott's Histories 



— Fossil Botany— On the Doctrine of Species— Siberia — Kiesongebirge 
— Botany— Geology of Sazon Switzerland— Barrande's 'colony' of 
Upper Silurian fossils « . . 201 


8EPTKMBEB 1856 — AUGUST 1857. 

Geology of the neighbourhood of Vienna — Styria — Salibuig— Discubsion 
with Hcer at Zurich— Fossiliferous quarry at Swanage— Visit to 
Switzerland— Fossil Plants— Elie de Beaumont*s frank opposition . 227 


AUGUST 1867 — 8BPTEMBEB 1857. 

Leaves Zurich to see the Limestone Quarries at Soleure— Glacial phe- 
nomena in Switzerland— The Klione Glacier — Zermatt — Viesch — The 
Matteihom 248 


8EPTEMBEB 1857 — DECEMBER 1857. 

Turin — Geology of the neighbourhood — Evidence of Glacial action — Vege- 
tation of the Riviera — Zwerglethurm near Viesch — Visit to Leghorn 
— Tomb of Francis Homer — Mrs. Somerville at Florence— Naples- 
Rome— The Campagna 263 



Indian Mutiny— Dinner at Milman*s — Sir Henry Holland— Rajah Brooke — 
Bucklti*s < History of Civilisation * — Death of Dr. Fleming— Meeting at 
the Geological Society— Death of Robert Brown — Lac de Bourget— 
Politics with Signer Bezzi — Naples— Expedition to Vesuvius — Festa 
— Messina^Catania 278 



Ademo — Procession of Monks — Casa Inglese on Etna — Rough quarters — 
Val del Bove — Descent of the Balzo di Trifoglietto— CJomet— Fine 
Climate compensates for the drawbacks in Sicily 30 

VOL. IL a 



FEBRUARY 18C9 — NOYEX^ 1860. 


Agassiz Mnsemn — Owen on tbe GoriUla — Death of Mr. William Prescott 
— Lord Lyndhorst — Mansers Bampton Lectures— British Association, 
Aberdeen — Darwin's * Origin of Species * — Birthday Party — Death of 
Macaolay— Dawson's < Archaia' — Flint implements in the Valley of the 
Somme— Death of Chevalier Bimsen 318 


APRIL 1861 — DECEMBER 1862. 

Excarsion to Bedfoid where Flint implements had been fonnd — OfFer of 
Candidatnre of M.P. for University of London— Kreoznach — Fossil 
llotany — Meeting at Philosophical Club— Death of Prince Albert— 
Letter on the Prince Consort — Anniversary dinner at Geological^ociety 
— Curtis the Entomologist 34.'^ 


MARCH 1863 — AUGUST 1863. 

On Transmutation of Species — Lamarck — Visit to Osborne — Museum of 
the young Princes— Interesting Conversation with the Queen — 
'Antiquity of Man* — Wclwitschia — Expedition to Wales — Mocl 
Tryfaen 361 



Scheme for Cave explorations in Borneo — Duke of Argyll on Variation of 
Species — Berlin — The Crown Princess — CroU on change of Climate 
during geological eixxjhs — Earth-pyramids at Botzen — Heer s * Urwelt 
der Schwciz*— Letter to Mr. Spedding on the American War — Sir 
John Herschcrs drawings of the Earth-pillars 381 


JANUARY 1866 — APRIL 1868. 

On geological changes of Climate— Ticknor's * Spanish Literature '—The 
Inquinition bearing on Natural Selection — Duke of Argyll's * Reign of 
1^'ivv' — Mr. Darwin on 'Variation of Animals and Plants under 
Domestication ' — Bcminibcences of Faraday 406 





Anniversary Meeting at Greenwich Observatory — Mr. Dawson's ' Acadia ' 
— Bookie and Motley— Visit to Tenby — On Natural Selection, and the 
meaning of colour in birds — Visit to St. David's — Submerged forest 
near Tenby— On the Law of Continuity 423 


APRIL 1869 — FEBRUARY 1875. 

Geology on the coast of Norfolk — Mr. Wallace's review on Natural Selec- 
tion—Glaciers scooping out Lake Basins — Fostiil Flora of Alaska — 
Life of Daniel Webster — Death of Lady Lyell — Forfarshire geology — 
Mr. Judd on Geology of Mull — Death of Sir Charles Lyell — Dr. Uooker*s 
Letter — Funeral — Westminster Abbey — Tribute 438 


A. Letter from Captain Basil Hall, R.N., to Leonard Homer, Esq., on (he 

* Principles of Geology,* vol. i. p. 376 465 

B. Tribute to the Memory of Lady Lyell, by George 8. HilLord, Esq. 

vol. u. p. 451 467 

C. Tributes to Sir Charles Lyell, vol. ii p. 463 470 

D. Bequest to the Geological Society 477 

Ya, Geological Papers and Works by Sir Charles Lyell .... 479 

INDEX 483 


Portrait of Sir Gliarles Lyell, after a Photograph by Maull and Polyblank 


Portrait of Lady Lyell, after a Crayon Drawing by George Kichmond, R.A. 

Tofaocpafje 286. 


• • • 

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* • • 

••• • 



•• • 










[Mr. and Mrs. Lyell went to Denmark and Norway in 1837, re- 
taming home by Brussels and Paris. The * Elements of Greolog}' ' 
was published in the following year 1838, and he attended the British 
Association at Newcastle, prosiding over the Geological Section. Jn 
1839 he visited Noi-folk and Suffolk, and went to Birmingham to the 
British Association. 

In 1840 he made a tour in Normandy and Touraine, and was at 
the British Association at Glasgow, presiding over the Geological 
Section. In the following year 1841 he was invited to give a course 
of twelve lectures at the Lowell Institution, in Boston, JVLissachusetts, 
and he travelled through much of the United States and Canada, 
collecting mateiials for memoirs which were afterwards published in 
the Geological Society's Journal. 

In August 1843 he went to Bristol to examine the coal mines in 
that district, and he and his wife proceeded to Cork, where the British 
Association was held.] 


■ « 
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« • 



• • •• 


S/K CHARLES LYLLL. chap. xxi. 





-. *••* To the Rev. W. Whewell. 

" • • 

16 Hart Street, Bloomsbmy Square : March 7, 1837. 

' Mj dear Whewell, — As we had some conversation the 
•"other daj touching the extent to which I carried my doctrine 
of * Uniformity,* in the * Principles of Geologj',' I wish to 
refer you to the first edition of that work (with which you, as 
the historian of the science, are of course principally con- 
cerned), in order to show you that certain passages were 
somewhat unfairly seized upon by the critics, and not duly 
considered with and interpreted by others, and by the con- 
text generally of the first volume. 

Tou know much more of geology now than when you 
first read my book, or Sedgwick's comments upon it ; judge 
me, therefore, by your present knowledge, rather than by 
the first impression. 

Any reader of Sedgwick's Anniversary Address to the 
Geological Society of 1831, would suppose that I had con- 
tended for ^ an indefinite succession of similar phenomena,^ 
and coupling what is said about my hypothesis of a * uniform 
order of physical events 'with what Sedgwick afterwards 
says of the recent appearance of man, it might naturally be 
imagined that I had not made due allowance for this ^ devi- 
ation,' as I myself styled the creation of man. I brought 
forward this * innovation' prominently as a new cause, 
* difiEering in kind and energy from any before in operation,' 
and mentioned it as an unanswerable objection against any- 
one who was contending for ahsolute uniformity. I stated 
the sense in which I believed the system of terrestrial change 
to be uniform, and that the modifications produced by man 
had been exaggerated, but in the following page I admitted 
that they are * a real departure from the antecedent course 
of physical events.' 

It was impossible, I think, for anyone to read my work, 
and not to perceive that my notion of uniformity in the 
existing causes of change always implied that they must for 
ever produce an endless variety of effects, both in the 


animate and inanimate world. I expressly contrasted my 
system with that of * recurring cycles of similar events.' If 
certain passages could easily be selected in which the theory 
of uniformity was, perhaps, stated too broadly as an abstract 
proposition, and the most striking of these Sedgwick has 
cited in his address, still the great point of difference between 
me and most of my predecessors, and between me and 
Sedgwick, then and now, is not one which implied on my 
part any unphilosophical solecism. I never drew a parallel 
between a geological and an astronomical series or cycle of 
occurrences. I did not lay it down as an axiom that there 
cannot have been a succession of paroxysms and crises, on 
which ^ a 'priori reasoning ' I was accused of proceeding, but I 
argued that other geologists have usually proceeded on an 
arbitrary hypothesis of paroxysms and the intensity of geo- 
logical forces, without feeling that by this assumption they 
pledged themselves to the opinion that ordinary forces amd 
time could never explain geological phenomena. The reitera- 
tion of minor convulsions and changes, is, I contend, a vera 
causay a force and mode of operation which we know to be 
true. The former intensity of the same or other terrestrial 
forces may be true ; I never denied its possibility ; but it is 
conjectural. I complained that in attempting to explain 
geological phenomena, the bias has always been on the wrong 
side ; there has always been a disposition to reason a priori 
on the extraordinary violence and suddenness of changes, 
both in the inorganic crust of the earth, and in organic types, 
instead of attempting strenuously to frame theories in 
accordance with the ordinary operations of nature. 

Bead also, if you desire to be a fair arbiter between the 
philosophical spirit and practical results of the two different 
methods of theorising in geology, what Sedgwick says in his 
Address for 1831 of De Beaumont's system of parallel eleva- 
tions, and my chapter on the same subject, or on the relative 
antiquity of mountain chains. De Beaumont's system was 
properly selected by him as directly opposed to my funda- 
mental principles. It was well selected, because it not only 
assumed returning periods of intense activity, or, as Sedg- 
wick termed them, * feverish spasmodic energy,' which tore 
asunder the framework of the globe, but also violent and 

B 2 

4 S/K CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxi. 

concomitant transitions from one set of species to another* 
It also assumed the parallel direction of mountain chains 
contemporaneously elevated, whereas we know that the 
modern lines of active volcanos and earthquakes are not 
parallel in our own times. It was a theory invented not 
only without any respect to the reconciling geological events 
wiii the ordinary course of changes now in progress, but it 
evinced at every step that partial leaning to a belief in the 
difference of the ancient causes and operations which charac- 
terise the system of my opponents. The astonishing eager- 
ness with which Sedgwick caught up and embraced the whole 
of what he termed De Beaumont's * noble generalisation,*" 
his declaration that De Beaumont's theory was * little short 
of physical demonstration,' and that it had given him (Sedg- 
wick) * a new geological sense, a new faculty of induction ; '' 
his assertion that he was * using no terms of exaggeration ' 
in saying all this ; was all prompted by the same theoretical 
bias which assumes the discordance between the former and 
existing course of terrestrial change. Before Sedgwick 
published his Address, I had fully explained to Lonsdale my 
objections to De Beaumont's theory, the same which I have 
since published. I know not how much of De Beaumont's, 
theory Sedgwick now believes, probably but a small part of 
it. I can only say that I could not find in Switzerland 
any one of those who had studied its application in reference 
to the Alps and Jura, as for example, Studer, Necker, and 
Thurmann, who believed in it. Conybeare could not recon- 
cile it to England. Sedgwick considered that my mode of 
explaining geological phenomena, or my bias towards a lead- 
ing doctrine of the Huttonian hypothesis, had served like a 
false horizon in astronomy to vitiate the results of my 
observations. But has he not himself been unconsciously 
warped by his own method of philosophising, which he has 
truly stated to be directly at variance with mine ? I am 
willing to test the relative value of our modes of dealing with 
these subjects by all the examples which he has himself 
chosen in his review of my book. 

In the review in the * British Critic,' in which more 
justice was done to the real points of originality to which mv 
work could lay claim, than in any subsequent article upon it 


(although most of them are much more eulogistic), you 
rstated three formidable theses which I had undertaken to 
defend, in order to bear out my theoretical views ; how much 
less formidable must they now appear to yourself when you 
and the science have made seven years' progress, than tiiey 
did in 1830 ! I am sure that none of the propositions can 
now seem to you extravagant or visionary, although you may 
not wholly agree with all my views. I allude to, first, the 
adequacy of known causes as parts of one continuous pro- 
gression to produce mechanical effects resembling in kind 
and magnitude those which we have to account for ; secondly, 
the changes of climate ; thirdly, the changes from one set of 
animal and vegetable species to another. 

In regard to this last subject, as well as to the change of 
climate, you remember what Herschel said in his letter to 
me. If I had stated as plainly as he has done the possibility 
of the introduction or origination of fresh species being a 
natural, in contradistinction to a miraculous process, I should 
have raised a host of prejudices against me, which are un- 
fortunately opposed at every step to any philosopher who 
attempts to address the public on these mysterious subjects. 
Perhaps you would understand the difference which I con- 
ceive to exist between me, as a Uniformitarian, and my 
opponent the Catastrophist, if I put an imaginary case in 
your own department of the tides. Suppose it was recorded, 
on authority which you did not question, that at a certain 
period of l^e past, say 10,000 years ago, a remarkable 
inequality, or an unusual rise or fall of the tides took place, 
or a long suspension of tidal oscillations. You are asked to 
explain it. After much thought, you declare that every 
hypothesis has failed, and that you give it up as inexplicable. 
Some one proposes a theory founded on a supposed periodical 
increase or diminution in the quantity of matter contained 
in the sun or moon, or in both of those heavenly bodies. 
Ton object that it is unphilosophical to resort to any such 
guesses, especially until we have laboured for a much longer 
time in making and recording observations on the tides, and 
in speculating on all the possible combinations of astronomical 
and terrestrial circumstances, which in the course of thou- 
sands of ages may affect the tides. 

6 S//? CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxi. 

Tour antagonist replies: *Wliy is it unpLilosophical ? 
What right have you to assume that the power of the sun 
and moon to attract the earth is uniform, or why may there 
not have been two satellites formerly to the earth instead of 
one? The same power which created man, and gave him 
the dominion over the earth, may at any time create and 
then annihilate a heavenly body, or change the volume or 
density of those which now exist.* You might reply: *I 
admit the possibility of these changes in the system, but 
they are mere arbitrary conjectures. I feel much more con- 
fidence in the probable uniformity in the condition of the 
heavenly bodies for an indefinite period of time, whether 
past or future, than I feel in my own knowledge. If I was 
sure that I could see at a glance the efiects of every possible 
combination of existing causes — such as variations in the 
eccentricity of the earth's orbit, fluctuations in the shape of 
the bed of the ocean, or in the position of continents, and 
many others — then perhaps, all others failing, I should 
venture upon some such theories as you have proposed. But 
I hesitate now, more especially when I recollect that several 
problems in the former state of the tides, once referred ta 
violations in the ordinary conditions of our solar system, can 
now be explained without resorting to such expedients, and 
are, in fact, found to be the consequences of known and 
regular causes.' 

I find that I cannot draw the above parallel as closely a& 
I could wish, because I cannot fancy in reference to the tides 
any stumbling block to arise out of prejudices in regard to 
time. The diflSculty which men have of conceiving the 
aggregate effects of causes which have operated throughout 
millions of years, far exceeds all other sources of prejudice 
in geology, and is yet the most unphilosophical of all. On 
this I have said much in my work, and people are now 
much better prepared to believe Darwin, when he advances, 
proofs of the slow rise of the Andes, than they were in 1830,.- 
when I first startled them with that doctrine. 

I will only add that Sedgwick was wrong if he imagined 
that I began with a priori reasoning on any assumed 
uniformity of physical events. I was taught by Buckland the 
catastrophical or paroxysmal theory, but before I wrote my 


first volume, I had come round, after considerable observation 
and reading, to the belief that a bias towards the opposite 
system was more philosophical. 

Believe me, dear Whewell, ever faithfully yours, 

Chasles Ltell. 

To His Sistes. 

London : March 19, 1837. 

My dear Sophy, — I shall trust to Mary giving you the 
regular journal of our proceedings, and shall indulge myself 
in recalling to my recollection what passed at our last dinner 
on Friday at Miss Rogers'. Much was said which I should 
be sorry to forget, and the guests were some of them remark- 
able and new to me. The party were twelve in number : 
Miss Bogers and her brother. Lord and Lady Holland, Mr. 
and Mrs. Milman, Mr. Allen, Mr. Luttrell, Mr. Empson, Sir 
David Wilkie, and ourselves. The table, so arranged as 
that everyone could hear and be heard by others, two sitting 
at the top. Lord Holland and Miss Bogers, and two at the 
bottom, Mr. Bogers and Mr. Milman. No epergne or other 
interference in the centre of the table ; lamp from the ceiling ; 
table just wide enough, and no more. Mr. Allen has been for 
thirty years physician to the Holland family ; lives with them 
on a very independent footing ; wrote much in the early 
'Edinburgh Beview' on Spanish literature and other subjects ; 
an agreeable man of Lord Holland's age. All we know of 
Luttrell is that he is a diner-out, and much in a literary set. 
Empson you have heard us speak of before, as a writer and 
professor of law at Haileybury. Mary was well placed be- 
tween him and Lord Holland ; the latter has a cheerful, good- 
humoured expression, talking in a lively way, but never too 
much, of literary rather than political subjects, and of anec- 
dotes of political men rather than politics. Mr. Allen was 
saying how strange a contrast Erskine ^ used to be in and out 
of his lawyer's wig and gown. Out of it he talked in a most 
gauche and foolish way, in it so that you would trust your 
life and fortime in his hands. Lord Holland, among other 

1 Yoonger son of the tenth Earl of Buchan, an eminent lawyer, and became 
XiOrd Chancellor. 



stories to confirm this, said that one day when he and Lord 
Erskine were in council in the Cabinet, and Lord Erskine's 
opinion on a measure was asked, he said in a hasty manner, 
* Oh, yes, depend upon it, it must be, for I remember it was 
in an old Presbyterian book of prophecies which my mother 
had.' When Erskine first came to the bar, he spoke very 
broad Scotch; he had never read more than the Bible, 
Shakespeare, Milton ; and in three years he spoke eloquent 
English, and was quite a gentleman in manners. 

A discussion arose as to whether the Iliad and Odyssey 
were both written by the same poet. Lord Holland said he 
felt satisfied they were not. Milman agreed, but contended 
for the unity of the Iliad, and said that the arguments 
against it founded on the diflSculty of transmitting so long a 
poem without printing, were answered by a greater wonder 
of the same kind being achieved, in the handing down of 
much longer Sanskrit poems. He said that Asia Minor was 
never once mentioned in the Odyssey, which was probably 
the work of an inhabitant of the Peloponnese, whereas the 
aUusions in the Iliad are so much confined to Asia Minor. 
On the Etruscan tombs being talked of, towards the ex- 
hibition of which Mr. Rogers had libeiully contributed, we 
got upon the old Etiiiscans, and Niebuhr and his Eoman 
History. Lord Holland said that he never would give up 
the real existence of such men as Komulus and Numa, how- 
ever much fable might be mixed up with them. Milman 
thought Niebuhr more successful in pulling down than in 
building up. After the ladies were gone. Lord Holland 
asked me about Buckland's book, and whether he knew 
much of geology. He seemed not to have formed a high 
estimate of the said Bridgewater, so I spoke up in favour of 
the body of the work, on fossils. This led to a talk on new 
species, and that mystery of mysteries, the creation of man. 
Lord Holland said that we were no further on that point than 
Lucretius, out of whom he could take mottoes which would 
have done for each of my volumes. And now, Sophy, if you 
think that I am voting you too blue by administering all 
this Greek, Sanskrit, Etruscan, and Latin to you, hand 
over the dose to Papa, and he may retaliate whatever he 
pleases with some lucubrations equally learned from his den. 


But I have said nothing of Lady Holland, who took her 
share in the talk. She asked me about the Danes and 
Bwedes, knew the names, at least, of many of them distin- 
guished in science, said how much energy and love of truth 
there was in the Northern men of letters, as compared to 
her favourites the French and Italians, yet the French could 
be deep and persevering. I spoke of La Place and Cuvier. 
She said that the latter once wished her to compliment him 
on his promotion to a higher political place, but she gave 
him fairly to understand how much she lamented his having 
abandoned the line in which he was so great, to meddle with 
politics (in which he played so inferior and, in her opinion, 
unworthy a part) . It is impossible to say in a letter anything 
which will give an idea of the singularity of Lady Holland's 
way of questioning people, like a royal personage. It is 
impossible not to be sometimes amused, aud sometimes a 
little indignant, with her. I cannot say that I formed so 
high an estimate of her talent and power ^ to explain to 
me how she has righted herself to such an extent, and got on 
in society after all that happened more than thirty years ago. 
No doubt she has been in the interval prudent, and more 
43trict in the choice of her society than others who had in- 
finitely more right to be so. She had wealth and beauty, of 
which last there are still some remains yet, with an ex- 
pression of temper. But then she had a husband who had 
not only talent, rank, and political station, but an infinite 
fund both of wit and good humour. 

With love to all at Kinnordy, believe me, my dear Sophy, 

Your affectionate brother, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Chables Babbage, Esq. 

May, 1837. 

My dear Babbage, — I have read the * Fragment * ^ with 
great interest, and think very favourably of it aud its origi- 
nality. As the machine must come in so much unavoidably, 
I think one apology at the beginning would do, or rather an 
•explanation that the work is founded on it. The argument 

' The Ninth Bridgcvcaier Treatise, a Fragment, by Charles Babbage. 

10 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxi. 

of changes of laws comes home to some of my geological 
speculations. No doubt some people would not like any 
reasoning which made miracles more reconcilable with pos- 
sibilities in the ordinaiy course of the universe and its laws ; 
but you do not write to please them. 

They are shocked at the idea of an eruption of a volcano 
being foreknown, which was to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, 
but your break in the sequence is more of a miracle than a 
volcanic eruption. I think your estimate of the Creator's 
attributes much higher than theirs, and that everyone may 
follow so far. 

Ever faithfully yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His Sistee. 

London : May 3, 1837. 

My dear Caroline, — ^Many thanks for your letter, which 
Mary tells me she has answered. I rather envy her the 
dinner to-day, though if Mr. Whitmore had not known that 
I was engaged at the Geological Society Club, neither of us 
would have been asked, as he wanted one place, and filled by 
a lady. His parties are excellently arranged. Jacquemont's 
letters have made us both curious to see Lord William Ben- 
tinck, and indeed his lady also. The Bishop of London 
talked of Sedgwick having narrowly escaped, according to 
report, being made Bishop of Norvrich. I told him how 
popular Whewell had told me that Sedgwick had become at 
Norwich, which interested Dr. Blomfield, and he ended by 
saying, * Though he is so popular, with the ladies in parti- 
ctdar, I hardly think he will ever marry now.' 

I have at last struck out a plan for the future splitting of 
the * Principles ' into a * Principles ' and * Elements,' as two 
separate works, which pleases me very much, so now I shall 
get on rapidly. The latest news is, that two fossil monkeys 
have at last been found, one in India contemporary with ex- 
tinct quadrupeds, but not very ancient — Pliocene perhaps — 
another in the south of France, Miocene and contemporary 
with Paleotherium. So that, according to Lamarck's view, 
there may have been a great many thousand centuries for 


their tails to wear ofiP, and the transformation to men to take 

Tour affectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Sib John F. W. Herschel. 

16 Hart Street, Bloomsbary, London : May 24, 1837. 

My dear Sir John Herschel, — I shall shortly set out with 
my wife on a tour to Copenhagen, Christiania, and Berlin, 
and wiU not quit London without writing to explain to you 
some steps which I have taken in regard to the publica- 
tion of extracts from your letter to me of February 1836. 
You had given Murchison permission to read, when occasion 
offered, a note of yours on the subject of the Origin of Vol- 
canos, and the outward movement of the internal isothermal 
lines on the superposition of new deposits, or ^additional 
clothing/ You seemed to think that I had confounded this 
notion with Mitscherlich's expansion of stone by heat, attri- 
buted by me to Babbage ; but in fact Babbage's theory, which 
I had alluded to, was different, and in substance the same 
as yours, and I agreed with Murchison, that as Babbage was 
going to republish it in his * Ninth Bridgewater,' it would 
be well to allow him to print, as he desired, both the extract 
from your first letter to me on the point, and your note to 
Murchison especially, as in both you had stated that you had 
not had time to reason out or state with minute accuracy 
the whole question. Whewell had both letters read at the 
Geological Society, which produced a most animated dis- 
cussion in which Whewell took part. But now for another 
point. Babbage was very desirous that I would allow him 
to print another short extract from your letter to me. I 
objected at first, but he showed me that I need not be 
alarmed, because he introduced it as a counterpart of a 
passage from Bishop Butler, and that in such company no- 
one could be otherwise than correct and orthodox. 

I hope my willingness to be persuaded to have a passage 
printed, in which incidentally you had paid me a compliment 
(one which I certainly prized highly), has not led me to» 

12 5/y? CHARLES LYELL. chap xxi. 

what you would in any way think an indiscretion. Whewell, 
in his excellent treatise on the Inductive Sciences, appears 
to me to go nearly as far as to contemplate the possibility 
at least of the introduction of fresh species being governed 
by general laws. 

Your volcanic speculations have at least set our wits to 
work, and wiD produce something. 

I am very full of Darwin's new theory of Coral Islands, 
and have urged Whewell to make him read it at our next 
meeting. I must give up my volcanic crater theory for ever, 
though it costs me a pang at first, for it accounted for so 
much — the annular form, the central lagoon, the sudden 
rising of an isolated mountain in a deep sea, all went so well 
with the notion of submerged, crateriform, and conical vol- 
canos, of the shape of South Shetland, and with an opening 
into which a ship could sail ; and then we had volcanos 
inside some circular reefs, as in Dampier's island, and then 
we knew that it was not the corals which had any inclina- 
tion of their own to build in a ring, like mushrooms and 
funguses in faiiy circles on the green, for the very same 
species of corals will form a long barrier reef, or grow in any 
shape the ground permits : and then the fact that in the 
Pacific we had scarcely any rocks in the regions of coral 
islands, save two kinds, coral limestone and volcanic ! Yet 
spite of all this, the whole theory is knocked on the head, 
and the annular shape and central lagoon have nothing to 
do with volcanos, nor even with a crateriform bottom. Per- 
haps Darwin told you when at the Cape what he considers 
\h!^ true cause ? Let any mountain be submerged gradually, 
and coral grow in the sea in which it is sinking, and there 
will be a ring of coral, and finally only a lagoon in the centre. 
Why? For the same reason that a barrier reef of coral 
grows along certain coasts, Australia, &c. Coral islands are 
the last efforts of drowning continents to lift their heads 
above water. Regions of elevation and subsidence in the 
ocean may be traced by the state of the coral reefs. I hope 
a good abstract of this theory will soon be published. In 
the meantime, tell all sea-captains and other navigators to 
look to the facts which may test this new doctrine. I 
suppose that according to the above theoiy, if a volcanic 


crater should sink, there would be two rings of coral, one 
on the rim of the crater, and one without. 

May 26. — Since writing the above, Babbage has given 
me a copy of his * Fragment ' for you, so you will see how far 
we have published your letter. 

At Babbage's yesterday, there was much talk of Wheat- 
stone's new plan for telegraphing information by five wires 
conducting electricity, and carried through an india-rubber 
tube, or rather rope, each wire representing a letter of the 
alphabet, or several letters, I believe by different intensities 
of the charge. The wires isolated by the india-rubber. The 
experiment Mr. J. Taylor said had, according to Wheatstone,. 
conveyed information through a rope five miles long, and 
of course instantaneously. These ropes it is said can be 
laid underground at small expense, under a railroad for in- 
stance, and news communicated with the speed of light. 

Brewster is full of some new proof derived from the 
optical properties of the diamond in favour of its vegetable 
origin ; some argument from anomaly or disagreement with 
any arrangement known to arise from mere mineral and in- 
organic structure. 

Hoping that you and your family are quite well, believe 
me, dear Sir J. Herschel. yours ever faithfully, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His Sisteb. 

Copenhagca: June 13, 1837. 

My dear Carry, — It is only a week to-day since we left 
London, and having already had two whole days with Dr. 
Beck, I feel as if I had been here an age. We went through 
Holstein from Hamburgh and its Danish suburb Altona, to 
Kiel, on a beautiful bay of the Baltic. In the morning we 
saw the sun rise in the principal Place, the Jungfei^nstieg, 
in Hamburgh, where the river Alster is dammed up so as 
to form a beautiful lake in the middle ; in the evening we 
saw it set in the Baltic when Kiel was long out of sight. 

We came to this capital on Sunday before sunset, and saw 
the beautiful harbour well. I was rather glad to find Prince 
Christian absent, in Funen, of which he is Governor, and 
Dr. Beck at leisure all day. We set to work at once at con- 

14 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxi. 

chologj and the Prince's Museum, and the critical examina- 
tion of those points of recent and fossil conchology in which 
Dr. Beck and Deshayes are at variance, and on which some 
of my geological conclusions have been based. 

June 21. — ^We were very glad to find on our table the 
day before yesterday your excellent journal. I was able to 
comply with a request of Mr. Loch's to introduce him to 
Prof. Wheatstone, and to get the latter to promise him a 
sight of the grand experiment about to be made of the 
electric telegraph. By-the-bye, have you heard of this 
wonderful invention? It has made a large figure in my 
waking dreams ever since I first heard of it at Babbage's, 
and I shall be disappointed if it fail to work a mighty 
change in the * march of intellect,' at least of civilisation. I 
must tell you what I have seen. Wheatstone has had for a 
year at King's College, in the crypts, a copper wire with silk 
turned round it, four miles in length, carried backwards and 
forwards, and finds that he can transmit instantaneously 
through this distance a feeble current of electricity such as 
two plates, four inches diameter, of copper and zinc, can pro- 
duce. Now you probably know that some fifteen years ago 
the famous Oersted, of this Copenhagen University, dis- 
covered that a current of common voltaic electricity caused 
the magnetic needle to move and place itself always at right 
angles to the current, so that you may move a needle at the 
end of the four miles of wire instantaneously, i.e. the 
current goes with the velocity of light, 200,000 miles in a 
second. Now you will ask whether it does not grow very 
feeble in passing four miles, and it does so, as it is always 
escaping ; but then it only takes twice the power to send it 
four miles which it required for two, and it has long been 
known that if you coil the wire which has the electricity 
passing through it, say fifty times, this multiplies tlie effect 
on the needle by fifty. Now with four wires and four 
needles you can make sixty distinct signs, and so commu- 
nicate any news by all the letters of the alphabet, instanta- 
neously, any distance ; and at all the intermediate places, 
coiled wires, called electrometers, being fixed to the main 
one which takes off but little of the force. It has been 
found that by employing smaU ropes steeped in india-rubber 

1 837. COPENHAGEN. 15 

gum, you may isolate the wires much cheaper than by silk, 
and thus each wire shall only cost between 3Z. and 5?. per 
mile, or for the four wires under 20Z. Now they had been 
obliged on the Birmingham and Liverpool railroad to use a 
very much more expensive telegraph, to give notice of trains 
coming to tunnels or places where they cross, by means of 
long iron tubes through which a blast of air is sent which 
blows a whistle at the end. So when this new rope with the 
four copper wires is substituted, we shall have not only rail- 
way news but all others sent out with the speed of lightning, 
ciphers being used for private confab. A few days after I 
left, a tarred rope was to be continued from the end of the 
four miles of wire, and thrown into the Thames, and then 
carried to the shot tower on the other side, and the rapidity 
of conveying intelligence through about five miles was to be 
tried. So perhaps a rope in the sea may carry news from 
Dublin to Holyhead, but at least under every railroad we 
can have it. After seeing the experiment for four miles of 
wire, I shall be surprised if it fails, and then it will be sin- 
gular that as one revolution in human afiPairs was produced 
by observing how the earth's magnetism afiPected the needle 
or compass, so a second will follow the detection of the 
law by which common or voltaic electricity affects this same 
needle. But I did not mean to write so much London news 
from Copenhagen. 

Your affectionate brother, 

Charles Ltell. 
To His Sister. 

Copenhagen : July 2, 1837. 

My dear Eleanor, — I shall begin with telling you some 
of my Danish news which I think Mary is least likely to 
give you. Perhaps when you hear that I should like to stay 
here longer than I can afford to do, after our return 
from Christiania, you will wish to know what geology the 
streets here and this flat country of gravel and boulders 
afford me. This I can easily explain, as you have read my 
book, and know how much I have alluded in it to the 
comparison of fossil and living species of shells. In the 
time of Liimseus this city contained finer collections of 


16 S/K CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxk 

shells, and finer works were published here by Chemnitz 
(12 vols.), and others, than in any country of Europe. It ia 
not wonderful, therefore, that even now some of the Danes 
should be far ahead, and that as Prince Christian had a 
taste for natural history, he should have a splendid private 
collection, and that the curator of his museum (containing^ 
above 8,000 species of living shells). Dr. Beck, should be 
one of the two or three best conchologists in the world. 
But besides this, Copenhagen possesses in its different 
museums most of the identical shells which Linnaeus de- 
scribed in the editions of his * Systema Naturae,' published 
during his life ; and here therefore alone, we can verify in- 
contestably the species which he really described and named. 
As Lamarck and others have in very many cases mis- 
taken the shells which Linnseus meant, great confusion 
has arisen, and it is here alone that this confusion can most 
readily be cleared up. 

T am going over with Beck an examination of all the 
fossil species identified by Desbayes with living shells, and 
it will probably lead to many modifications of my views, at 
least of many of my details, also to many new views, which I 
shall perhaps liave to test at Paris before I return. But my 
plans must be governed by circumstances not wholly in my 

On Tuesday I went early to Sorgenfri with Beck, a fine 
morning, not too hot, and we discussed all the way pointa 
which had occupied us in the museum. He is an excellent 
botanist and entomologist. Soon after 8 o'clock we reached 
Sorgenfri, and after a walk in the flower garden, the Prince 
joined us. A landau and four nice horses was in waiting, and 
away w^e drove over a very fair macadamised road, through 
woods as wild and natural as any part of the New Forest^ 
having at our left a remarkable chain of small lakes fsn below 
us ; that is to say, we looked down a precipice covered with 
wood upon the lakes. We discussed the probable origin of 
the lakes, the Prince not forgetting here and there to stop the 
carriage and take me to points slightly elevated, where beau- 
tiful views are seen. In one of them we saw the towers of 
Copenhagen, about eight miles off to the south, and finom an- 
other point the ancient Abley Church of Boskilde. We then 


passed between Lake Fiire and a smaller lake to the village of 
Farum, and some miles beyond this, came to where the soil 
is composed to a great depth of innumerable rolled blocks of 
chalk with a few of granite intermixed. Fossils were very 
numerous in the chalk, and I hammered out many, and Beck 
found a finer fossil fish than had ever been found before in 
Denmark. Prince Christian set four men to work, while 
the horses were baiting, to clear away the talus and make a 
section for me, by which I saw that the boulders of chalk 
were in fact in beds, with occasional layers of sand between. 
A. gamekeeper came to show an eagle which he had shot, a 
large osprey, I believe. I took two of his large quills, and 
mean some day to write a letter with it ; of course it must 
be, as Count BlUcher said, in a very lofty style. On our 
return to the opposite side of Lake Fiire, which is twenty 
miles round, we drove down to the shore, and found a large 
sailing boat of the Prince's, and some men waiting for us. 
Before embarking. Beck and I collected a bottle full of shells 
inhabiting the borders of the lake, and I got some information 
which throws much light on the origin of the indusial lime- 
stone of Auvergne. 

There was much wind, and we scudded about at the 
rate of ten miles an hour from one fishing ground to another, 
where everybody but I caught carp and pike. At least I 
learnt some ichthyology from Beck. We then found, at the 
further end of the lake, the carriage in attendance, with a 
second one to take such things as might have crowded us, and 
80 we drove home. The Prince was veiy agreeable, and I was 
glad to find that his lady had been equally so to my princess, 
who has given you already an account of an entertainment 
on that and the following day, which was exceedingly amus- 
ing. I had no opportunity when here before of seeing more 
than that the princess was ladylike, handsome, and gracious; 
but from her conversation when alone with Mary, and durin<y 
the walk with me from the boat in the evening, I am sure 
she is a very superior person, and one who has thought 
much, and formed her own opinions for herself on things 
and people, manners, religion, and politics. It was curious 
to see how much the Danes, both men and women, looked 
like English, and how much their accent resembles ours, 

VOL. u. c 


18 SIR CHARLES LYELI.. chap. xxi. 

but the women, though almost fairer than the English, were 
not so handsome as in a fashionable party in London. 
With love to all, believe me your affectionate brother, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His Sisteb. 

Copenhagen : July 29, 1837. 

My dear Eleanor, — Mary has given you a diary of our 
proceedings up to our return to this place, and you will see 
that we were ofben separated when at Christiania, making 
independent expeditions. In my tour with Professor Keil- 
hau to Hakkedal, we went about twenty-five miles north of 
Christiania, and I had a pretty good specimen of a Nor- 
wegian forest of fir-wood, and steep hills of granite, and 
other such rocks, with here and there a deserted iron or copper 
mine opened in the middle of the wilderness, and some 
tractas by which the woodmen draw out the fir trees which 
they fell, leaving enough to supply a natural growth in 
succession. The ground under the trees was often thickly 
covered with the Linncea lorealis. I was not aware that it 
smelt so sweet. On the marshy ground there was great 
abundance of the Bvims chamcBmoruSy which the natives call 
moUk-boery which was red when I picked it, but which is 
yellow when ripe. We afterwards had some for dessert at 
Sorby. The Norwegians seem to prize it more than any of their 
wild finuts. They told me it had been much destroyed this 
year by the hard frosts, which continued during the nights 
even of the beginning of July this year, for, as in England, 
they had an unusually long winter. Even when we were there, 
though the weather was very hot, they said it was not equal 
to their usual summers. I heard the cuckoo in these woods. 
T^ere were a great many farm houses scattered through 
those valleys where the granite was covered with clay, 
which, as a geologist, I must tell you is a marine deposit 
containing recent species of shells such a« now inhabit the 
fiords of Norway, and as this clay rises sometimes more 
than 600 feet high, it fertilises a large district. There has 
been a good, brisk trade in wood of late years, which had 
thinned some of the forests we went through, but though 

1837. NORWAY. 19 

thej do not sell as much as formerly, since we have favoured 
Canada by our duties, obliging ourselves to get dearer wood 
from thence, still a new market has opened in the north of 
France, where the French peasants are flooring their houses 
with wood, a new luxury to them. Upon the whole, all those 
we spoke with agree that Norway has increased wonderfully 
in prosperity since she was severed from Denmark, although 
the same natives are unanimous in extolling the Danes as a 
people above the Swedes. The fact is that Norway is ex- 
tremely independent of Sweden, and pays nothing to it, and 
being no longer drained for the sake of Denmark, the Stor- 
thing has been able to diminish, and last year even to take 
off all the direct taxes, and they have put their money 
system on so good a footing, that their paper money is 
worth as much as the metallic, instead of being at a great 
discount, as in Sweden and Denmark. We were soiTy, 
however, to hear some of the natural effects of a democratical 
system pushed so far as it is at present, so that the repre- 
sentation is virtually in the hands of the peasants or small 
yeomen, among whom almost all the land is divided in small 
lairdships. For example, the cathedral at Drontheim, said 
to be 800 years old, is falling into ruins, unless repaired, 
one of the finest monuments of the early days of Christianity 
in the North, but the Storthing will not vote a small sum for 
its repair. Several persons assured me that Mr. Laing, in 
his book on Norway, was unpardonably erron^us in what 
he says about the succession of land, for in§tead of a law 
like that of France, all the land goes now, and always did, 
to the eldest, and though he has to pay nominally a share 
in money to each of his brothers equal to his own, and half 
a brother's share to each sister, yet the customary mode 
of valuation has always been such as to give in fact a con- 
siderable majorat, and to keep properties as long in the 
same hands as in England. Norway was always too poor in 
the feudal times to be worth invading, so it was never con- 
quered, nor shared out by a feudal lord amongst his vassals, 
as happened in other parts of Europe. On the other hand, 
the Danes supplied ministers, judges, govertiors, &c., who if 
they made fortunes, retired with them to Denmark, instead 
of founding great Norwegian families. Many substantial 

c 2 

20 S/I^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxr 

small proprietors emigrate annually to the United States^ 
chiefly to Dlinois, near the Canadian lakes, and they are 
excellently fitted to settle there, in a better climate, cut- 
ting down the wood, and building houses like those in 
the mother country, and, as there, each having great 
resources in himself when far from neighbours. Upon the 
whole we liked much what we saw of the Norwegians, but I 
have no doubt they would be better off, and especially be 
more likely to remain permanently independent of Swedish 
influence, intrigue, and domination, if they had more than 
one single nobleman of fortune and independence like Count 
Wedel Jarlsberg, who is much liked and a very intelligent 
man, but with whom dies out the last remnant of Norsk 
nobility, the Storthing having provided by law that no other 
noble should be created. It is curious how many English and 
especially Scotch faces and figures one sees in the tall and 
fair men and women of Christiania. The rate at which they 
bowled us down the hills, exceedingly steep, without drags to 
the wheels, was such as I never witnessed elsewhere. 
With love to all, believe me your affectionate brother, 

Chaeles Ltell* 

To Chaeles Daewin, Esq. 

Wesel-on- the- Rhine : August 29, 1837. 

My dear Darymi, — I write this to you, at least I am 
beginning it, in a steamboat on the Rhine, so make allow- 
ance for the tremulous motion. We came in a steamer from 
Copenhagen to Liibeck, then in a hired carriage to Ham- 
burgh, across the sand and boulder formation of the Baltic, 
which for the most part we have been on ever since, although 
we have crossed the Weser, and Ems, and Lippe. The 
blocks of red syenitic granite, which I hammered away at in 
Norway, and which I saw there in situy sending its veins 
into the trilobite and orthoceratite schist, have been carried 
with small gravel of the same, by ice of course, over the south 
of Norway, and thence down the south-west of Sweden, 
and all over Jutland and Holstein down to the Elbe, from 
whence they come to the Weser, and so to this or near this. 
But it is curious that about Miinster and Osnabruck, the low 

1 837. GEOLOGY. 21 

secondary mountains have stopped them ; hills of chalk, 
Maschelkalky old coal &c., which rise a few hundred feet in 
general above the great plain of north and north-west 
<jrermany, effectually arrest their passage. 

This then was already dry land when Holstein, and all 
from the Baltic as far as Osnabruck or the Teutobarger Wald 
hills, was submerged. At Bremen I saw Olbers, aged seventy- 
two, the astronomer who discovered Pallas and Vesta, and 
there and at Osnabruck and Miinster I met a warm and 
Oerman reception from men of whom I had never heard, 
but who had read my paper on Sweden or something else. 
I mean by German, that kind of frank expression of enthu- 
siasm for science, or of any emotion, which a well-bred 
Englishman tries to suppress, at least all outward expression 
of it, from the dread of being thought ridiculous, or of aflfect- 
ing to feel more than he does, or from mauvaise horUe, If 
you ever get sick of that fashionable nonchalance which 
would blush to admire anything, or at least to confess it, I 
advise you to plunge into Germany, and you will be soon re- 
freshed, and brought back to a right tone again, whether it 
be literature, science, or any other pursuit you are following. 

I hope to write to Horner a full account of my surprise 
to find that there is no truth in overlying granite in Norway — 
no exception to the rule, as I will tell you presently — that he 
may read it at the British Association. Be it known then to you 
and others who have read what Von Buch wrote on Norway 
in the days of his youth, and of his Wemerianism and Nep- 
tunianism, that his notion of the granite overlying the 
transition rock arose from this, that whenever he found 
schist dipping towards granite regularly up to the point of 
contact, he assumed that it went under. The granite may 
lean over a little here and there, but this is accidental, and 
in general it sends veins only into the transition beds, 
changing the limestone into marble near the junction, and 
the shale into micaceous schist, and other metamorphosis, the 
fossils often escaping in the white marble, and some traces 
in some crystalline schists. 

Now what I have seen in several places, I take Keilhau's 
word to be the universal fact. Had Von Buch believed as he 
.afterwards did in the igneous origin of granite, he would 

22 Sm CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxi. 

have found the veins, but without this, somehow or other, 
he came by false reasoning to the true conclusion, that the 
granite is newer than the Silurian beds. This is lucky for 
him. What struck me forcibly was this : after seeing proofe 
innumerable and beautifully clear of the order of age being 
first gneiss, then secondly, unconformable transition beds, 
then granite, and after seeing that the granite was the 
newest, I then found that the granite not only sent veins into 
both transition and gneiss, but actually sometimes passed by 
imperceptible gradation into gneiss. This gneiss, so ancient 
that it had been crystallised and then thrown into vertical 
and curved stratification even before the triloites flourished, 
this most ancient rock is so beautifully soldered on to the 
granite, so nicely threaded by veins large and small, or in 
other cases so shades into the granite, that had you not 
known the immense diflference of age, you would be half 
staggered with the suspicion that all was made at one batch ! 
Parisy September 5. — Last year when Charlesworth spoke 
at Bristol about Crag, and the numerical percentage of 
recent tertiary shells, Sedgwick and Buckland gave some 
useful impromptu replies, stating that I was aware some 
modifications would be required, &c., but they would not 
afTect this classification in the main. Now if he should 
again, as I expect, speak on this subject, and if he should 
again cite Beck, will you state that you happen to know from 
correspondence which you have had with me this summer, 
that I have been engaged with Dr. Beck in a careful exami- 
nation of the species of fossil shells of the Crag and other 
tertiary formations which have been identified with recent 
species ; that you have learnt from my letters that Dr. Beck 
by no means denies the absolute identity of a certain number 
of Crag species, though he thinks a large proportion of those 
identified by Deshayes to be distinguishable. Also tluit I 
consider that Dr. Beck's views of the conchological fauna of 
the Crag, drawn from the consideration of 260 species, tend 
to confirm the classification which places the Crag as older 
Pliocene and on a parallel with the Sub-Apennine beds, and 
distinct from and more modem than the Touraine, Bordeaux, 
and other Miocene deposits. Also, that I am convinced that 
independently of the relative percentage of recent shells. 


about whicli naturalists may differ according to their notions 
of what constitutes a specific difference, there are other 
characters in the entire assemblage of forms of shells belong- 
ing to each great tertiary epoch, which will enable us to 
classify the deposits according to the approach which they 
make to the type of organisation now existing in the neigh- 
bouring seas ; and that this approach will serve as a chrono- 
logical test of the eras to which tertiary deposits may 
respectively belong. I mean the degree of approach to or 
departure from the assemblage of living shells in the neigh- 
bouring seas will be a test of the relative newness or anti- 
quity of the several deposits ; also that I consider the terms 
Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene to be as convenient and (if I 
the inventor may say so) happy, in reference to this view, as 
when they were made to refer more exclusively to the pro- 
portion of fossil species identified with recent. For the 
Pliocene and Miocene will always express greater and less 
degrees of approximation to the existing fauna, and the 
Eocene that first dawn of resemblance which characterises 
the oldest tertiary shells when compared with those of the 
newest secondary formations. As I have not yet finished my 
examination of disputed points, and not even begun to hear 
the pleadings on one side, I will not risk any statement as 
to how far the identification of fossil with recent shells may 
have been pushed too far, for I certainly suspect that the 
error has been chiefly on this side ; but I wish you to know 
that my conviction is stronger than ever, that rules may be 
given for measuring the approximation of different groups of 
tertiary shells, and that the degree of this approximation 
may be used as a test of age, and may lead to the same 
classification as that which I have adopted in the ^ Principles.' 
I am fully prepared to defend all that is essential in my 
system of tertiary classification as founded on fossil shells. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Leonabd HOBNEB, EsQ. 

Paris : September 23, 1837. 

My dear Homer, — I was glad to receive your report of 
the meeting at Liverpool, and to hear the Association was 


SO well supported. I must try to be at the next. I saw a 
very blundering account of my letter in the ^ Athenseum.' I 
am anxious that when printed by the Association,^ it should 
be given as I sent it, and this principally because I have 
carefully avoided bringing prominently forward any collision 
with Von Buch, whom I like too well not to be sorry that 
he should fancy, as he has done before now, that I am always 
seeking to run against him. I only mentioned him as hav- 
ing been the first to announce the posteriority of the granite 
to the transition beds, which was a grand step at that time, 
and true ; though perhaps he did not come at it by a strictly 
logical course. I know how he drew his inferences, which 
were quit^ natural twenty-six years ago, before he had 
adopted the true theory of granite, but had I brought for- 
ward his errors, I should also have dwelt on his praises. 
Chancellor Brougham said of Serjeant Wilde, that it was 
rather hard to visit on the barrister the sins which he 
committed in the flesh as an attorney, and I should also 
think it hard to show up the mistakes which Von Buch 
the Huttonian fell into, in the youthful days of his Wer- 

With love to all, believe me yours most affectionately, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Sister. 

Paris : September 23, 1837. 

My dear Sophy, — We were glad to hear such a goodaccount 
of the party at Kinnordy and your visitors in your last letter, 
and hope you still feel as if you could * jump over the moon,' 
which we nearly do at our (or perhaps I should say my) 
mature age, at the thoughts of flying across the Channel once 
more after a longer absence than usual. We mean to steam 
it all the way, land and water, for the benefit of my fossil 
shells and our bones, not the fossil ones, and for the novelty 
of the thing, for both of us are heartily sick of the everlast- 
ing jpar^ between this and Calais. We go to St. Germain 
by steam carriage, by the Chemin-de-fer, which is adver- 
tised in a pamphlet beginning * Paris vient de s'enrichir 
d'une qloire nouvdle^ and then by steamboat to Havre and 

■ British Association at Liverpool. 


by another from thence to London. I have bought you a 
dozen small shuttlecocks, and went to the Quai Voltaire to 
ask for Grangier's Dante/ A complete copy had been sold 
a few weeks before for the very small price of fifteen francs, 
and I was told I should probably not get one, but Merlin on 
the Quai des Augustins might have it. Merlin had only 
one volume, * D Paradise,' which I got, well thumbed, for 
four francs, and I took at a venture Montonnet's translation 
of the * Inferno,' though Merlin said he believed it was not 
worth much; but it was only five francs, 1776. The same 
bibliopolist asked if I was going to London, * because it 
was there that the French send for old French books, and 
there, if anywhere, Grangier might be bought entire.' A 
jpropos to the * new glory ' which Paris has gained, I have 
had a compliment to-day myself in the same style in a note 
presenting me a fossil shell. The donor, a stranger, tells 
me he had been requested to give duplicates away to geo- 
logists, and it was impossible for him ^d'adresser a une 
meilleure illustration g^ologique.' But a more delicate piece 
of flattery has been administered in my new passport. Even 
two years ago my * nez petit ' was changed to * nez moyen,' 
but now it is * nez long.' 

After several days of heat, we have now so cool an even- 
ing that we have ordered a wood fire. The De Beaumonts, 
whom we mentioned lapt spring, have been calling, but we 
were out, as they were when we called. I mean Gustave and 
his wife (Mdlle. Lafayette) ; they sent a polite note of 
regret at missing us. They are only just returned two days. 
We had such a treat on Wednesday at the Th^&tre Fran9ais ; 
two best places in the balcon to hear Mdlle. Mars and 
Mdlle. Noblet in several pieces. The principal one, an 
old play, * Le Jeu d'amour et du hasard.' MdUe. Mars 
is not in the least gone off at sixty, and her voice very 
sweet, and looks like a pretty woman of thirty. Mary has 
had a pleasant letter from Lord Cockburn, who tells us that 
the new tower at Bonaly by Playfair is picturesque, and 
pronounced by Sir T. Lauder to be like the ' peel tower of a 
Border chief.' 

* HiB father being desirous of obtaining every edition of Dante, of which. 
he formed a fine collection. 

26 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxi. 

Maison, on the Seine : September 24. — Here we are, after 
reaching St. Germain by railroad, and thence to this place 
by a fiacre over a road which we thought would have upset 
us. Certainly it was worth while paying some five francs, 
extra to see the Parisians enjoying themselves on a fete 
day. It was a very gay scene. We had to wait three- 
quarters of an hour in a fine newly built salUy in which I 
suppose a thousand persons were waiting as if in a theatre, 
divided into compartments according to the price of ticket* 
you had taken out. They made us take nine places, seven 
being for the luggage, which I am told was a great imposi- 
tion, but I took only one-fiiunc places. Though there was no 
cause for hurry, when the bell rang, there was such a bustle 
and rush, and the agent himself lost his head and was 
quite nervous. Fortunately, every one of the engineers as 
well as engines are English, and not one accident has hap- 
pened, though as many as 10,000 a day have travelled for 
four weeks since it has been opened. To-day 17,000 have 
gone by it ; allowing that a great many have gone both 
ways, perhaps some 10,000 persons. Our train contained 
1,200 persons, each carriage forty, and many being filled with 
well-dressed ladies and beaux, was a very gay sight. It was 
twelve miles and a half, performed in about haK an hour. 
Twice we crossed the Seine. The motion we thought 
pleasanter even than the Greenwich railroad. All nearly 
are travelling for pleasure ; an exchange for the Montagues 
Busses, Tivoli, or a jaunt to Versailles. The shareholders 
are quite surprised at their success and profits, and as the 
machines are tried and strained by the overweight, they 
have sent to England for more locomotives and more men* 
What a good thing for our own machinery-makers to supply 
the Continent ! All the steamboats, I am told, in the Medi- 
terranean, have English men and machinery, and so I found 
it in the Baltic and in Norway. 

The Byrnes * came to the railroad to see us off, and just 
before we left our hotel, Clara Tourguenef (formerly Viaris) 
came to see Mary. She is a beautiful young woman, and very 
pleasant. The most singular part, perhaps, of the railroad 
sight was the length of way, several miles I should think out 

* Uncle and aunt to Mrs. Ljell. 


of Paris, of an imbroken line of lookers-on, on each side of 
the road to see the carriages pass. 

Normandy : September 25. — We are on our way in a swift 
steamer which flies down the Seine at an average rate of 
fifteen miles an hour. Have passed Chd;teau Gaillard, built 
by Bichard Cceur de Lion, and what interested me rnost^ 
from historical recollections, Sully's country house, Bosny. 
It is a picturesque chS^teau, one side coming very close to 
the river, and all kept up in fine habitable order, having 
belonged to the Duchess of Berri lately. We fe;ncied Sully 
walking on his favourite terrace. The scenery is always 
agreeable on this river, and sometimes striking, and our 
rapid pace gives it great variety. I have heard a discussion 
on Louis Philippe having married a son and daughter to 
Protestants, and being about to give two other daughters ta 
Protestants — one to the Prince of Wurtemburg, the other ta 
the reigning Duke of Saxe Coburg. This they say is popular 
with a large number of the Liberals in France, who, though 
Catholics, have been always fearing the return of the Jesuits, 
who were put down when Charles X. was banished. As far 
as a visitor can judge, Louis Philippe seems as quietly 
established on the throne as any king in Europe. 

Havre : September 27. — We have to wait till the evening 
tide, having arrived last night at this port, now the Liverpool 
of France, and very flourishing. The Seine below Eouen, though 
not so beautiful and grand as above, was still very picturesque. 
The view back towards Rouen, some villages on the way to 
Honfleur, and the beautiful chd^teau of La Meillerie, where 
Mdlle. La Yalli^re was brought up, was an interesting 
object. We passed the old Castle of Eobert le Diable, 
William the Conqueror's father. How full of antiquities 
Normandy is! 

London : September 29. — We arrived last night, and found 
all weU here. 

With love. Believe me your affectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 



To His Father. 

London : October 3, 1837. 

My dear Father, — I send you three of the last medals 
which have been struck at the Mint of Paris, and which I 
hope you will add to your collection as memorials of the 
time of our last visit to that place. We went to see the 
triumphal arch of the Barriere de I'Etoile which is now 
finished, and has cost half a million sterling. I had no idea 
it was so colossal till we came up to it, and certainly it is 
very beautiful. Although the list of victories is too long 
to be marked on the medal, the first two which meet your 
eye on the side facing the Tuileries, are Oemappe and 
Valmy. I thought it almost ludicrous on the reverse of 
some of the medals of the arch to see two heads looking 
ut each other, Napoleon and Louis Philippe, so I chose the 
one I send, though less characteristic of 1837. 

As to the obelisk, you will see, I think, by the medal, 
that in itself it is a beautiful thing, but if I mistake not, you 
vdll wish it back in Egypt again when you see it. The fact 
is, hardly any monument could be placed where it stands, in 
the centre of the Place Louis XV., without being in the way. 
But this is, to my eyes, as out of place as a huge sphinx 
would have been just before Westminster Hall or Abbey. 
The first view I got of it was on entering the Tuileries 
Garden close to the Palace, and looking down the centre aisle, 
or rather avenue of wood, where the great fountain is at some 
distance. The end of this avenue, far off, should have been 
terminated simply by the great Arc de I'Etoile, and would 
have been so softened by the red light of the setting sun 
tieen through it and round it. But one saw a black line 
much sharper than could be formed by any round column, 
standing before and cutting right in two, from top to 
bottom, this distant arch. Still worse, when you go to the 
Faubourg St. Honor^ or Madeleine, and wish to look on the 
bridge at the front of the Chambre des D^put^s, you see the 
portico cut in two by the The ban intruder, and I imagine 
the effect must be equally fatal to the beautiful fa9ade of the 
JMadeleine itself when seen from the Chamber of Deputies. 

We did not see the Mus^e de Versailles. Some told me 

1 837. LOUIS PHILIPPE, 29- 

it was a ' grand collection of rubbish,' others that it was of 
great historical interest. 1 suspect it was one of Louis^ 
Philippe's good hits, of which I heard many. Among the rest 
Byrne told me this: — In Napoleon's time all the army 
became acquainted with the Emperor in the field ; but Louis 
Philippe, seeing that he could never have this advantage in 
times of peace, changed the system of having certain regiments 
of guards always attached to the Palace, and had three at a 
time (each I believe is nearly 2,000 strong), to guard the 
Tuileries, of regiments of the line. They are changed after 
a year and a half or so, and all the officers dine in their 
turn as they mount guard, either with the King (those of 
higher rank) or with the Princes. He has already got 
through nearly two-thirds of the entire regular army, and 
they take pains to get personally acquainted with all the 
officers. I send the two shabby-looking old volumes of 
Dante I spoke of. 

Believe me your affectionate son, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Fathee. 

London : October 21, 1837. 

My dear Father, — As Mary is sending off a frank, I 
have been thinking whether our party on Thursday will afford 
any literary gossip worthy of being Boswellised, which I be- 
lieve it would if my memory served me. I was amused with 
an anecdote of Calcott's, who said that some one was praising 
the waterfall at Bowood as by far the most beautiful artificial 
one in the world. Rogers, on being appealed to, asked if they 
would except Terni ? When the Milmans were at Bowood 
the other day, one of Lord Lansdowne's horses ran away with 
Milman in sight of Mrs. Milman and his children; carried 
him under the trees, and then charged a high invisible fence of 
wire, which was thrown down, the poet rolling on the ground. 
But he was not stunned, and, being immediately bled, soon re- 
covered. Mrs. Milman had time to be frightened terribly. 

The subject of the bill for a general registration of 
mortgages, as in Scotland, was discussed, and declared to be- 
only delayed by the attorneys. Milman cited some one wha 

so SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxi. 

said we were governed by three powers : the power of steam, 
the power of the press, and the power of attorney. Babbage, 
on onr talking of what books might be stereotyped, said that 
a great part of his ^ Economy of Manufactures ' had been, but 
it would scarcely do for his Bridgewater treatise. Milman 
suggested that he might safely stereotype the blank chapter 
— a joke which Babbage took well. The question was 
started whether it was best for an author not to read the 
reviews against himself, as Sydney Smith declared was his 
system. Milman said it never answered, for when Sydney 
Smith was so cut up lately in the * Quarterly Eeview ' for his 
sermon on the Queen, he could not help trying to get from 
Milman what they liad said of him. 

Babbage had bound up in a volume all the violent attacks 
against him for his * Bridgewater. ' ^ Van de Weyer told us 
that he collected all the things which the Dutch wrote 
against him, and sent them to his mother, begging her to 
see what a son she had. One of these compared him to 
Eobespierre, declaring the only difference to be 'that he 
(Van de Weyer) was the most bloody.' There was much joking 
from Van de Weyer and others about Sydney Smith having 
made the experiment last spring, in full season, of a trip to 
the Rhine, of which he got soon tired, and hastened back to 
IJondon dinners and routs. Milman pronounced it to be 
a pure piece of coquetry, to try how they would miss him, 
though against his own rule, for he says ' that in London as 
in law, de non apparentibus et non existentibus eadem 
est lex.' We had much talk about Sir Walter Scott's Life, 
our summer tours, and so forth ; but Mary has got her bonnet 
on, so I must conclude. 

Believe me ever your affectionate son, 

Chables Lyell. 

P.S. Having a few minutes more, I must add an observa- 
tion of Van de Weyer, that he knew many merchants whose 
families had had galleries of pictures (in Holland and Ant- 
werp) for 200 years, and who added to tiiem the best modem 
works of their artists. Babbage said that English merchants' 
famiKes never outlasted two centuries. Mihnan said the 

• The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, by Charles Babbage. 

1837. PARTY AT MILMAN'S. 31 

reason is that here they are never stationary, and before two 
xsentnries go by they are above or below merchants — part of 
the aristocracy, or bankrupts, and forgotten. 

To His Fathee. 

London : November, 1837. 

My dear Father, — Many thanks for your letter of congratu- 
lation on my birthday. I will begin by way of answer to put 
down a few recollections of an agreeable paiiy which we had 
yesterday at the Milmans.' 

A note from Sydney Smith excusing himself, with a joke 
€ven on the envelope. To Mrs. Heart Milman (instead of 
Hart) the seal having a ^ on it with the motto. * H tuo 

nome non h la ventura,' if I caught the words rightly. 
Milman observed it was strange, for surely Sydney Smith 
could not have a premeditated joke purposely engraved on a 
seal. Presently Mr. and Mrs. Milman, Mr. and Mrs. Senior, 
Mr. Lockhart, Mr. Whewell, Mr. Rogers, Rev. W. Harness, 
Mr. Rich, M.P., and ourselves. When Mr. Rogers heard that 
Mary had been to Norway without seeing any waterfall, he 
said, * That comes of having a man with a hammer for a 
fellow-traveller. What would you have thought when a girl, 
if a fortune-teller had predicted that you would marry a man 
who lived by his hammer P 1 was asking Lady Mary Fox 
(Rogers had just come from a visit to Colonel and Lady Mary 
Fox in Windsor Palace) what she would have thought if, 
when playing as a child in Bushey Park, she had been told 
that she would one day be a housekeeper ; aye, and after 
your marriage, and such will be your situation that your 
friends will all congratulate you on getting the place of 

Rogers mentioned having known three persons who had 
known Pope. One was Lord Lyttelton, another a boatman 
who rowed Rogers over the Thames at Twickenham. * Pray, as 
you have been here so long, did you know Mr. Pope ? ' * Mr. 
Alexander Pope, you mean, sir ; we called him Mr. Alexander 
Pope. Tes ; when a boy I often rowed him over, I and my 
father, and he came to the river side in a sedan chair.' This 
led to much conversation about Pope, the subject having 

82 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxr. 

first been brought on by Milman alluding to a new German 
book by one Waagen on paintings in Great Britain, in which 
Rogers' collection was praised, and an original clay bust or 
model by Eoubilliac of Pope, I think. Whewell thought 
Pope by far the most influential literary man of his day. 
Lockhart thought that Dean Swift was superior, and, on our 
exclaiming at this, said that the Dean would have been toa 
much for Pope had you met them together. Whewell re- 
joined that doubtless he would have been more than a match 
for Pope had they come to blows, but he (Whewell) was not 
thinking of a fight, but of mental qualities higher than he 
thought Swift possessed. Milman had been amused with an 
opinion of Goethe, showing his estimate of the relative 
dignity of poets and peers ; he said, if Byron had spoken now 
and then in the House of Lords, his bad feelings would have 
found a vent, his spleen would have evaporated, to the great 
purification of his poetry. Whewell said, good-humouredly 
alluding to an attack on him by Brewster in a late * Edinburgh 
Review,' that perhaps that was the meaning of the proposal ta 
give peerages to scientific men, in which case science also 
might be purified of its grosser qualities. 

Milman asked Mr. Rich (groom of the chambers to the 
Queen) whether it was true that the Queen had complained 
that they would not give her a diamond necklace. * Not a 
word of truth in it, I assure you ; she has several splendid 
diamond necklaces, but chose to wear a pearl one.' 

Is it true that King Ernest has pressed for the restora- 
tion of the Hanoverian Crown jewels ? * Undoubtedly; they 
were joined to those of England at the union with Hanover, 
and ought, he says, to be separated again now that the 
crowns are disunited, but they are so mixed together they 
cannot tell which are which, and I suppose that the Queen 
thinks that the Salic law was never meant to apply to dia- 
monds.' Senior remarked that she played her part remark- 
ably well in the pageant the other day ; that nature had 
intended her for such performances. 

On Mr. Harness dwelling on the risk that a young person 
ran of being corrupted by flattery and power, Whewell said she 
would at any rate escape Henry VIII.'s trials, for he (Whe- 
well) could see nothing in the spirit of the present times 


which made him apprehend that Victoria would be corrupted 
by the possession of exaggerated power. Mr. Rich had been 
with her to the Theatre the night before, and said that her 
reception had been most enthusiastic. I asked him after- 
wards whether she had read much ; he said, not much of 
works of imagination, none of Scott's novels, many of Miss 
Martineau's politico-economical tales ! ! and she is now read- 
ing O'DriscoPs * History of Ireland.' When we were in the 
drawing-room I saw Mr. Whewell and Mary talking together, 
first, as T learnt afterwards, about Bonn, where he had been 
lately, and then about all the novels they had read, in which 
Eogers afterwards joined, showing a perfect recollection even 
of the tales written for children ; Miss Edgeworth's * Simple 
Susan' for example, to which Eogers objected that there 
never was a man so bad as Attorney Case, and said that in 
all her novels there were some characters overdrawn, in 
which Whewell would not agree. On Rogers joining Mil- 
man and me, we talked of Sir David Brewster's article in the 
* Edinburgh Review ' on Whewell, and Whewell's pamphlet 
in reply, and Rogers then remarked that such striking 
articles as that of Macaulay on Bacon did no good to the 
Review, but made the dulness of the rest more apparent ; 
he regretted much in that article, and said Macaulay would 
repent having done anything to lower the name of a great 
teacher. I argued against Macaulay's view of the Utili- 
tarianism of Bacon, and his comparing Bacon's inductive 
method to a simple piece of machinery like Aristotle's * Logic' 
Rogers said that even in the historical part, in which Macau- 
lay was much stronger, he frequently sacrificed truth, because 
he had written for effect, and Bacon was not so bad as he 
had painted him. Milman complained that Seneca had been 
selected as representing the science of the ancients, and that 
even his * Qusestiones Naturales ' had not been mentioned, his 
best work in that line. They then expressed their admira- 
tion of the merits of the article, and among other eloquent 
passages Rogers repeated the following : * It is a philosophy 
which never rests. Its law is progress ; a point which was 
invisible yesterday is its goal to-day, and will be the starting- 
post to-morrow.' I have since thought of having this 
passage as a motto for my ^ Elements of Geology.' 


34 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxi. 

Talking of the popularity of Wordsworth's Poems, Senior 
asked Eogers if he thought Wordsworth had made fifteen 
thousand pounds. Bogers said he never made anything at 
all till last year, and then he received one thousand pounds 
for a new edition. 

I was not sorry that Sydney Smith happened to be en- 
gaged, for though such a party would have drawn out some 
of his best fun, he would have overpowered Rogers with his 
boisterous laugh and sonorous voice, and it is a great pleasure 
to enjoy quietly some rays of Rogers' sunset ; everything he 
says has a remarkably fine finish in it, but he is very mild 
and indulgent, and no remains of the epigrammatical sarcasm 
for which he seems to have been famous. I was amused 
with the abrupt ending of his con&b in the drawing-room 
with Milman and me above mentioned. Milman's eldest 
boy came up, and, looking Rogers in the face, said, ^ Mr. 
Rogers, do you like sugar ? ' There was a pause. I was 
thinking of the acidity formerly imputed to Rogers' con- 
versation. Milman laughed, and Rogers said in an emphatic 
tone, * Indeed I do,' and walked away to the tea-table. 

I must not fill another sheet with discussions for and 
against Scott's partnership with Bannatyne (after Lockhart 
was gone) ; Mr. Trollope's new novel ; Harriet Martineau's 
* America,' and whether she was the plainest woman in the 
world, or almost handsome, especially on her first return, 
from the New World. 

Believe me, with love to all at Kinnordy, 

Your affectionate son, 

Chables Lyell. 






To FsoFESSOR Sedgwick. 

January 20, 1838. 

My dear Sedgwick, — I have been very busy since my 
return from Denmark with my * Elements of Geology/ which 
I hope to get out before the summer, and have just finished 
abstracting from Murchison's sheets, which I have read with 
no small pleasure, a short account of the Silurian rocks and 
their fossils. I am now upon your Cambrians, and as I give 
a few woodcuts of fossils in each group I should have liked to 
give a few of the earliest ones if possible. Phillips, in his new 
treatise in Lardner,has given us a fewSnowdonian fossils of his 
own collecting in 1836, and I would of course select others, 
that I might not interfere with his, and might give as much 
as possible original information to the public. I should, 
however, be content if there were any figures published of 
what you consider true Cambrian organic remains of any 
order of animals, to copy them in my small reduced wood- 
cuts, just to give novices an idea of the generic forms, if I 
can do no more. I believe there are some specimens, from 
Snowdon and elsewhere, of Cambrian fossils in the Geolo- 
gical Society's Museum, but if you can put me in the way of 
furnishing a page of woodcut figures, it will be doing me a 

great service. 

D 2 

86 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxil 

Our cousin Miss Winthrop * gave us an account of your 
second lecture, and of your manner of controverting one of 
my theories, with which I was well satisfied. But when Sir 
W. Parish put into my hands the report of the same lecture 
in the * Norfolk Chronicle ' of January 18, I confess I 
was out of patience with the reporter. He makes you say, 

* Various false theories have been adopted by infidel natu- 
ralists,' &c. He goes on, * One of these,' &c., one sentence;, 
then * another was Lamarck's theory,' three sentences ; then 

* Mr. Lyell's theory, that the creation of new species ia 
going on at the present day, was also condemned as rash and 
unphilosophical.' Had I not known more about the lecture 
and about you, I should have thought that I had been 
classed with the infidels. Now touching my opinion, I have 
no right to object, as I really entertain it, to your contro- 
verting it; at the same time you will see, on reading my 
chapter on the subject, that I have studiously avoided laying 
the doctrine down dogmatically as capable of proof. I have 
admitted that we have only data for extinction^ and I have 
left it rather to be inferred instead of enunciating it even aa 
my opinion, that the place of lost species is filled up (as it 
was of old) from time to time by new species. I have only 
ventured to say, that had new mammalia come in, we could 
hardly have hoped to verify the fact. Indeed, if I were 
asked, where is your new mammiferous species, which has 
filled up the great vacancy caused by so many removals P I 
might perhaps say, this is just my strongest case, for there 
is man, a mammifer of yesterday, which has been spreading 
by millions over the globe. But I certainly wish it to be 
inferred from my book, that in the ocean, beyond the sphere 
of man's interference, and in the desert, and in the wilder- 
ness, and among the infusoria and insects, the extinction has 
been going on in the last 6,000 years, and that the substi- 
tution of species to supply the vacancies, which must always 
be occurring, has also been going on ; though howy is a 
point we are as ignorant of as of the manner of God's creat- 
ing the first man. You will, I hope, allow that to assume 
that there have been no new creations since man appeared, 
is at least as ' rash and unphilosophical,' as modestly to hint 

» Now Mrs. C. Baring Young. 


iihe possibility of such occurrences, which is all you will find 
I have done. Whewell, I think, has put this well in his 
* Inductive Sciences.' He has brought up the subject of 
extinction and new creations to that point which science 
has reached, or where our fre%emi ignorance begins, without 
discouraging those investigations which may lead to our 
discovering what laws may still govern this mysterious part 
of nature's operations, the coming in of new beings. To 
me it appears that the line you are represented to have 
taken is to hazard a far bolder hypothesis than I should 
have dared to do, viz. that no new creatures have begun to 
exist for the last 6,000 years, or for such time as man has 
existed, although geology has now brought to light the 
proofs of an indefinite series of antecedent changes, such 
repeated failures of species of animals and plants, and their 
replacement by others. The burden of proof rests on him 
who ventures to a£Brm that Nature has, at length, stopped 
short in her operations, and that while the causes of destruc-" 
tion are in full activity, even where man cannot interfere, 
she has suspended her powers of repair and renovation. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Leonard Horneb, Esq. 

London : February 24, 1838. 

My dear Homer, — Mary is going to send you a journal, 
but, as she did not attend the anniversary,* 1 will send you a 
short account of that meeting. Not so full as usual, and most 
of the M.P.s absent on the Irish Poor Law question ; never- 
theless, a grand display of talent. Whewell in the chair, 
Sedgwick, Buckland, Sir P. Egerton, Darwin, Owen (who is 
wonderfully pleased at receiving the Wollaston medal), 
Fitton, Greenough, Hallam, Milman, Murchison, Lord 
Burlington, Prof. Jones, Lubbock, Bayley, Clift, Hamilton, 
And on the whole the great horseshoe table tolerably well 
filled. A short time before the meeting, Whewell told me 
that I should have nothing to do, unless I would propose the 

' Of the Geological Society. 

38 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxii. 

President, which as ex-President fell n&tnrallj to me. So I 
began the speaking, and said it would be impossible for them 
to appreciate Whewell's services in the chair, unless I 
reminded them in what an eventful year of his career as 
author and scientific workman he had rendered those 
services. I therefore enumerated his doings in the year,, 
beginning with three volumes on the Inductive Sciences. I 
mentioned that on my return from Norway and Denmark, I 
mentioned to Lodge, fellow of Cambridge, how good a com- 
panion Whewell's last work had been to me, but soon found 
myself at cross purposes, as he had to tell me of two other 
works published since my absence, viz. the ^ Mechanical 
Euclid,' which had already come to a second edition, and 
secondly, the * Studies of the University of Cambridge.' On 
my return home, I found his paper (eighth series), * Experi- 
ments and Observations on the Tides' in ^Philosophical Trans- 
actions,' for which the Royal Society soon after gave him the 
royal medal. On my expressing to my friend Mr. Jones (who 
sat opposite me) my wonder that Mr. Whewell, entering so 
much into literarj' and scientific society, could possibly, with 
all his Cambridge professional duties, find time even to pass 
through the press so much matter, supposing he did not write 
a word, what was my astonishment when Prof. Jones told me 
that his friend Whewell, then staying with him in town, was 
actually then passing through the press /our other v:(yrTc8^ viz. 
two new editions in different forms of his * Bridgewater 
Treatise,' and thirdly, a long article in the * Medical Gazette,* 
on Physiology of Nerves of Sensation and Volition, relatively 
to the Bell and Mayo controversy and claims, and fourthly 
those four sermons preached at Cambridge in November last> 
which I had read with much pleasure, in which he has treated 
of Butler's and Paley's views of morals, moral philosophy, &c» 
There may be other writings, and certainly a controversial 
lefcter to the ' Edinburgh Review; ' but I asked, if these alone 
were considered, not as the monument of one year, but of a 
lifetime, would it not be thought sufBcient for the zeal and 
industry of one man, and yet in this year Whewell had made 
an efl&cient President of the Geological Society ? I would 
not dwell on that labour of love, the eloquent address they 
had heard the opening of that morning, but his sacrifices 


in attending our meetings, and the time given to details of 
management, of getting a new secretary and other internal 
rearrangements of the Society's official business, for doing 
this in so busy a year, called for their acknowledgments. 
This address was well received, and Whewell replied modestly, 
fearing that most of them would think when they heard of 
so many works, that he had done too much to do any well. 
In proposing Owen, he put very well his being a fellow 
townsman and schoolfellow of his own. In proposing the 
different Societies, he made a beautiful allusion to Terence, 
saying, ^ I am a man; homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum 
puto,' and parodied it well, * We are geologists, and we regard 
nothing in physics and natural history as foreign to our pur- 
pose.' Sedgwick was imcommonly splendid in replying for 
Cambridge, and pointing out the connection between abstract 
science cultivated there,and all general reasoning on particular 
facts, geological and others ; such reasoning alone raised us 
above the dregs of matter, &c. Whewell drank the * Strangers,' 
and Prof. Jones last, who made a truly eloquent speech, and 
very extemporaneous, on the similarity of the prospects of the 
two new sciences, different as they are in their subjects, geo- 
logy and political economy. After the anniversary evening. 
Lord Cole pressed me so hard to go and eat pterodactyl (alias 
woodcock) pie at his rooms, that I went, with Whewell, 
Buckland, Owen, Clift, Egerton, Broderip, Hamilton, Major 
Clerk, Lord Adair ; and there we were till two o'clock, fines 
inflicted of bumpers of cognac on all who talked any * ology.' 
Cigar smoke so strong as half to turn one's stomach. I lost 
the enjoyment of Murchison's dinner next day, and for five 
days only did haK a day's work or less. It is a serious 
warning to me how careful I must be. 

Yours affectionately, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Leonard Hoenek, Esq. 

London : March 12, 1838. 

My dear Homer, — At the last meeting of the Geological 
Society, Darwin read a paper on the Connection of Volcanic 
Phenomena, and Elevation of Mountain Chains, in support of 

40 SIR CHARLES LYEUL chap. xxil. 

my heretical doctrines ; he opened upon De la B^che, Phillips, 
and others (for Greenoagh was absent) his whole battery of 
the earthquakes and volcanos of the Andes, and argued 
that spaces at least a thousand miles long were simulta- 
neously subject to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and 
that the elevation of the Pampas, Patagonia, &c., aU 
depended on a common cause; also that the greater the 
contortions of strata in a mountain chain, the smaller must 
have been each separate and individual movement of that 
long series which was necessary to upheave the chain. 
Had they been more violent, he contended that the sub- 
terraneous fluid matter would have gushed out and over- 
flowed, and the strata would have been blown up and 
annihilated. He therefore introduces a cooling of one small 
underground injection, and then the pumping in of other 
lava, or porphyry, or granite, into the previously consoli- 
dated and first-formed mass of igneous rock. When he had 
done his description of the reiterated strokes of his volcanic 
pump, De la BSche gave us a long oration about the impossi- 
bility of strata in the Alps, &c., remaining flexible for such 
a time as they must have done, if they were to be tilted, 
convoluted, or overturned by gradual or small shoves. He 
never, however, explained his theory of original flexibility, 
and therefore I am as unable as ever to comprehend why 
flexibility is a quality so limited in time. Phillips then got 
up and pronoimced a panegyric upon the ' Principles of 
Geology,' and although he still diff'ered, thought the actual 
cause doctrine had been so well put, that it had advanced 
the science and formed a date or era, and that for centuries 
the two opposite doctrines would divide geologists, some 
contending for greater pristine forces, others satisfied Kke 
Lyell and Darwin with the same intensity as nature now 
employs. Fitton quizzed Phillips a little for the warmth of 
his eulogy, saying that he and others who had Mr. Lyell 
always with them, were in the habit of admiring and 
quarrelling with him every day, as one might do with a 
sister or cousin whom one would only kiss and embrace fer- 
vently after a long absence. This seemed to be Mr. Phillips* 
case, coming up occasionally from the provinces. Fitton 
then finished this drollery by charging me with not having 

i8i8, NORFOLK CRAG. 41 

4one justice to Hutton, who he said was for gradual eleva- 

I replied, that most of the critics had attacked me for 
-overrating Hutton, and that Playfait understood him as I 
-did. Whewell concluded by considering Hopkins' mathe- 
matical calculations, to which Darwin had often referred. 
He also said that we ought not to try and make out what 
Hutton would have taught and thought, if he had known 
the facts which we now know. I- was much struck with the 
-different tone in which my gradual causes was treated by all, 
-even including De la Bdche, from that which they expe- 
rienced in the same room four years ago, when Buckland, 
De la B6che (?), Sedgwick, Whewell, and some others treated 
them with as much ridicule as waa consistent with politeness 
in my presence. Yours affectionately, 

Chables Ltell. 
To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Kinnordy : September 1, 1838. 

My dear Homer, — This our second day at Kinnordy has 
been, they tell us, the most like summer of any they have 
had this year. The place looks beautiful, and I have at last 
some leisure to give you an account of our British Associa- 
tion Meeting at Newcastle. Mary, however, has just come 
into the library, and reminded me that I must begin 
further back, and go to the banks of the Yare, from which 
she sent her last journal. I ascertained during my tour in 
Suffolk and Norfolk two points respecting the Crag, which 
I had never made out before, at least to my own satisfaction. 
First, that the mammalia, such as mastodon, elephant, &c., 
were really coeval with the true Crag shells. Secondly, 
that the Crag of Norfolk was not, as some have supposed, 
of a newer date than that of Suffolk. This and several 
other minor points, besides the acquisition of specimens of 
shells, would have satisfied me, even if I had not met with 
certain vertical lines of flint, or paramondra, which supplied 
me with the materials of a small notice which I read at 
Newcastle, and of which you will see a good abstract by-and- 
by in the * Athenaeum.' 

42 S//i CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxir. 

We avoided all but collectors at Norwicli ; but on the last 
day there (Sunday), we went to the Cathedral, where the 
Bishop spied us out from his throne, and sent the verger to ask 
Mary and me to come to the Palace to luncheon, which we 
did, and saw Mrs. and Miss Stanley, and walked round the 
garden. We had to hurry away, as we had to set off in the 
Yarmouth steamer at three, and had a pretty sail down the 
river. The day after (Monday) I took a long walk with Mr. 
Pellew along the sea-shore. We went by steam from Yar- 
mouth to Hull, and thence, after sleeping a night, in another 
steamer to North Shields, where we landed at six o'clock 
in the morning, and so perfectly refreshed by our night in the 
steamboat, that we both enjoyed a good long expedition along 
the shore to Tynemouth, walking, and then in a gig to a point 
on the coast, CuUercoats, where the ninety-fathom dike is 
laid open in the cliffs, the magnesian limestone on one side 
and the coal on the other. I then went to see another fine 
section of the same dike, or rather fault, cut open by a 
railway about a mile inland, and the quarries of magnesian 
limestone and marl slate in which the fossil fish are found. 
Next day we crossed the Tyne to South Shields and visited 
the Marston Bocks, where there are lofty perpendicular 
cliffs of magnesian limestone, and small isolated rocks or 
needles of the same in the sea. The coast scenery was very 
grand, and the brecciated form of the magnesian lime- 
stone, which is an aggregate of angular masses of itself^ 
as if broken up and reconsolidated in situ. The same even- 
ing we got to Newcastle. As soon as I saw Murchison, he 
told me it was arranged that I should be President of the 
Geological Section, which was immediately confirmed at the 
meeting of the general committee. The other Presidents 
were Herschel, Physical; Babbage, Mechanical: Whewell, 
Chemical; Sykes, Statistical; Sir W. Jardine, Zoological; 
Dr. Headlam, Medical. Our section was crowded, from 
1,000 to ],500 persons always present ; Sedgwick, Buckland^ 
Daubeny, De la Beche, Greenough, Phillips, Griffiths, Sir P* 
Egerton, Owen, and many other good men taking part. 
Portlock and Torrie my secretaries. 

All that I saw of the government of the Association gave 
me a good idea of the spirit, but no wish to consume my time 


in taking a part in it, to which I am invited, I hear, by being 
put on the council. Sedgwick was so eloquent ; his lecture 
to 3,000 people on the sea^shore made a great impression. 

Ever aflfectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Charles Darwin, Esq. 

Kinnordy : September 6, 1838. 

My dear Darwin, — I must first read your letter again 
which I answered in a great hurry at Newcastle. I should 
like to have a t^alk over Salisbury Craigs with you, especially 
on the spot. I do hope some day that we shall be able to 
examine together some of the volcanic rocks on the coast 
near the Red Head, within a day's ride of this place. It is 
a splendid exhibition, and I think we should make out several 
points of eruption and sections of the feeders of the old 
volcanic islands of the Old Red Sandstone period. The variety 
of porphyries and amygdaloids is quite splendid. I assure 
you my father is quite enthusiastic about your journal, which 
he is reading, and he agrees with me that it would have had 
a great sale if separately published. The other day he told 
me that he wished to get a copy bound the moment it was 
out, and send it as a present to Sir William Hooker, who 
more than any one would be delighted with yours. He was dis- 
appointed at hearing that it was to be fettered by the other 
volumes, for although he should equally buy it, he feared so 
many of the public wonld be checked from doing so. I hope 
you mean to sell a portion of those copies which I think you 
told me you were to have separate, as I think it was a large 

When do you think the book on Coral Reefs and Vol- 
canos will be out? In recasting the ^Principles,' I have 
thrown the chapter on De Beaumont's contemporaneous 
elevation of parallel mountain chains into one of the Pre- 
liminary Essays, where I am arguing against the supposition 
that nature was formerly parsimonious of time and prodigal 
of violence. You will, I am sure, find the discussion of that 
question much more naturally placed by this new arrange- 
ment. I should like to know, when you next write to me,. 

44 S//^ CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxii. 

how far you consider your gradual risings and sinkings of 
the spaces occupied by coralline and volcanic islands in the 
Pacific as leaning in favour of the doctrine that many 
parallel lines of upheaval or depression are formed contem- 
poraneously. K I remember right, some of your lines are 
by no means parallel to others, although many are so. In 
one point of view, your grand discovery proves, I think, in the 
most striking manner, the weight of my principal objection 
to the argument of De Beaumont. Tou remember that I 
■denied that he had proved that the Pyrenees were elevated 
after the cretaceous period, although it is true that the 
chalk has been carried up to their summits, and lies in in- 
•clined beds upon their flanks ; for who shall say that the 
movement was not going on during the cretaceous period '? 
Now in your lines of elevation, there will doubtless be coral- 
line limestone carried upwards, belonging to the same period 
•us the present, so far as the species of corals are concerned. 
Similar reefs are now growing to those which are upraised, 
or are rising. 

September 8. — Many thanks for the * Spectator* which 
<!ame this morning. I really find, when bringing up my 
Preliminary Essays in ' Principles ' to the science of the 
present day, so far as I know it, that the great outline, and 
even most of the details, stand so uninjured, and in many 
cases they are so much strengthened by new discoveries, 
especially by yours, that we may begin to hope that the 
great principles there insisted on will stand the test of new 
discoveries. I am pleased to think of the improved form in 
which this part of the work will come before the French for 
the first time. You hope that the * Elements* may send many 
to the ' Principles,' but I am not yet so sanguine as to be free 
from apprehension lest they should stand in the waj' of the 
* Principles.' This, however, cannot be known yet. 

I am very glad to hear you like the Athenaeum. I used 
to make one mistake when first I went there. When anxious 
to push on with my book, after a ^ two hours' spell,' I went 
there by way of a lounge, and instead of that, worked my 
head very hard, being excited by meeting with clever people, 
who would often talk to me, very much to my profit, on the 
very subject on which I was writing, or I fell in with a Re- 


view or Magazine relating to geology> Now this was all 
very well, but I used to forget that this ought to count for 
work although nothing had been written, and that I ought 
consequently to give up my second *two hours' spell/ By 
not doing so I was often brought to a dead stop, so that at 
last, for fear even of meetiug with anybody in the streets wha 
would also talk geology, I was sometimes driven for a walk 
into Gray's Inn Gardens. But then you will say comes the 
difficulty, how to avoid theorising, for nothing substantial is 
gained by dwelling on the subject when there is no pen, ink,, 
or paper before one. After lying tAvo hours fallow the mind 
is refreshed, and then in five minutes your fancy will frame 
speculations which it will take you the two hours to realise 
on paper. As your eyes are strong, you can afford to read 
the light articles and newspaper gossip, which I could never 
indulge in much with impunity. 

My father has been more and more taken up and de- 
lighted with your journal, and begged me this morning ta 
invite you to come here any day this or the next month,, 
when we shall be here, for as long or short a time as you 
like. Steamboats every Wednesday to Dundee, passage from 
thirty-six to forty hours; railroad four times a day from 
Dundee to Glamis, where the carriage meets you^ and brings, 
you in half an hour to Kinnordy — an easy trip for one who 
was never sea-sick except in sailing vessels. Do come, if 
you want some fresh air, and if you choose to bring MS. 
here and write, as I do whenever I choose, four or five hours 
quietly every day, I promise you the means of doing so ; or 
if you prefer a geological excursion, remember that an au- 
tumn on this East coast may be almost always reckoned upon 
for fine weather. 

Will you be so good, after reading the enclosed note to 
Dr. Eichardson, to send it post-paid to him ? I was glad ta 
see him at Newcastle. Do not let Broderip, or the * Times,*^ 
or the * Age,' or * John Bull,' nor any papers, whether of saints, 
or sinners, induce you to join in running down the British 
Association. I do not mean to insinuate that you ever did 
so, but I have myself often seen its faults in a strong light,, 
and am aware of what may be urged against philosophers 
turning public orators, &c. But I am convinced, although 

46 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxil 

it is not the way I love to spend my own time, that in this 
country no importance is attached to any body of men who 
do not make occasional demonstrations of their strength in 
public meetings. It is a country where, as Tom Moore 
justly complained, a most exaggerated importance is attached 
to the faculty of thinking on your legs, and where, as Dan 
O'Connell well knows, nothing is to be got in the way of 
homage or influence, or even a fair share of power, without 
agitation. The local committee at Newcastle were quite 
amused at the eager press for tickets, after the meeting 
began, on the part of those who had most sneered agaiurt 
the whole thing down to a few weeks before its commence- 
ment. I can also assure you, as the strongest commendation, 
that the illibend party cannot conceal their dislike, and in 
some degi*ee their fear, of the growing strength of the Asso- 
ciation, in which circumstance as geologists we are particu- 
larly interested. We must take care not to hint this last 
argument to the Tories, many of whom are helping forward 
the cause gallantly at present, and. Heaven be praised, we 
seemed in no danger of splitting on the rock of politics, 
which I always fear much more than any occasional squabbles 
amongst ourselves, which can never come to anything like 
lasting feuds in a body collected from so many different 
quarters. The moral of all this is, Go next year to Birming- 
ham if you can, although your adviser has been only to two 
out of eight meetings. Did you really manage* to drink 
nothing but water at old Jones * ? 

Pray write and gossip at full when lounging at the Athe- 
ncDUUi to mo, and never imagine you can say enough. 

As to the Glen Roy case, I saw, in Orust in Sweden, 
great beds of stratified gravel and sand like those which 
cover our Scotch hypogene rocks entirely destitute of shells ; 
yet tliere were beds of shells like those of Uddevalla, and sea 
beaches at still higher levels. Mind I tell you about the 
absence of shells in some of my Norwegian Newer Pliocene 

BoUovo me, my dear Darwin, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

■839. DR' FITTON'S REVIEW. 47 

To De. Pitton. 

Einnordy: August 1, 1839. 

My dear Dr. Fitton, — Although we are not far north of 
Edinburgh, your review only reached my father's house 
last night, and I hare this morning read it through without 
stopping, and with very great pleasure and profit, for it con- 
tains much that is new to me, as well as much that is grati- 
fying. Indeed I suspect you must have left out those 
passages of an * excoriating ' character which you hinted at 
when we last met, or must have thought me one of the most 
sensitive of authors. I have certainly reason to .be more 
than satisfied, for it is a piece of good fortune which happens 
to few even once in their lives, to be criticised by a reviewer 
who has read and thought over all they have written, as well 
as what others have done and said, and to still fewer who 
liave that luck, to come off with so much praise. I am very 
glad that you have dwelt so clearly, in your ample analysis 
of my * Elements,' on those points in which it differs from the 
* Principles.' I do not remember a single point in which I 
think you have misunderstood me, geologically speaking. 
The first note I think of a slight mistake is where you 
ascribe to Scrope a section which is my own of the lava of the 
Coupe d'Aysac. I made it on the spot, and to the best of my 
recollection you will find nothing like it in Scrope, whose 
work is not at hand. But I have borrowed so many illustra* 
tions from Scrope (though not, I trust, either in his or any 
other case, without acknowledgment), that I am the last who 
should grudge him the appropriation of one of mine. 

I am pleased to see you have been able to draw out 
Lonsdale's just claims to original views in regard to the 
Devonian and other subjects, and assert for him what he will 
never do for himself. Your application of the lines *The 
times have been,' is admirable, and the whole article runs off 
fluently and in entertaining style, and varied until you get 
into your elaborate disquisition on Hutton, which to all the 
general readers, and to many of the initiated, will, I fear, be 
somewhat heavy. It has been useful to me, as I found it 
difficult to read and remember Hutton, and though I tried. 

48 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxir. 

I doubt whether I ever fairlj read more than half hia 
writings, and skimmed the rest. Considering at how late a 
period, as compared to Steno, Hook, Leibnitz, and Mora, he 
came into the field, and consequently how much greater 
were his opportunities, I think his knowledge and his original 
views were confined to too small a range of the vast science 
of geology, to entitle him to such marked and almost exclu- 
sive pre-eminence as you contend for in his behalf. K you 
had not felt some natural indignation at the unpardonable 
neglect with which the French and Germans have treated 
him, you would not, I think, on reading downwards from the 
theories of the older writers, have considered his merits on 
the whole as so transcendant. Your citation (immediately fol- 
lowing the woodcut) is a more perfect enunciation of the gra- 
dual acquisition of the metamorphic character by successive 
modification than I had remembered to exist in his writings. 

I remember on one occasion Bou6, in reference to my 
citations of MaccuUoch, apologised for having pretended to- 
such complete originality in regard to the change of strata by 
Plutonic action, and Von Buch told me on my citing Playfair 
for the elevation of Sweden, that neither he nor any German 
had had access to Button's and Playfair's works during the 
war, &c. I feel, however, by no means disposed to defend the 
Continental writers from your charge, and you might have 
included Macculloch, who so ably filled up Button's rough 
sketch of the metiimorphic theorj% but with scanty reference 
as usual to the merits of a great predecessor. 

In distinctly alleging that my defective appreciation of 
Button's claims was the ground of the pages which you 
write in his defence and eulogy, a point again enforced in 
the last sentence, you should have been careful to distinguish 
between the total neglect of Cuvier, Von Buch, Bumboldt, 
Boue, Brongniart, and others, and the inadequate rank in the 
relative scale which in your judgment I have assigned, as the 
simple reader of your review must confound me with all the 
rest. As you do not complain that my historical sketch was 
disproportionate in length to the general plan of my * Princi- 
ples,' I must assume that you think Button occupies too 
small a space ; yet in my first chapter I gave Button credit 
for first separatmg geology from other sciences, and declaring 


it to have no concern with the origin of things, and after 
rapidly discussing a great number of celebrated writers, I 
pause to give, comparatively speaking, full-length portraits of 
Werner and Hutton, giving to the latter the decided palm of 
theoretical excellence, and alluding to the two grand points 
in which he advanced the science. First, the igneous origin 
of granite, secondly that the so-called primitive rocks were 
altered strata. I dwelt emphatically on the complete revolu- 
tion brought about by his new views respecting granite, and 
entered fully on Playfair's illustrations and defence of 
Hutton, and he is again put prominently forward in the 
* Elements,' where no other but Lehman and Werner are 
mentioned. The mottos of my first two volumes were 
especially selected from Playfair's Huttonian Theory, because 
although I was brought round slowly, against some of my 
early prejudices, to adopt Playfair's doctrines to the full extent, 
I was desirous to acknowledge his and Hutton's priority, and 
I have a letter of Basil Hall's in which after speaking of 
points in which Hutton approached nearer to my doctrines 
than his father. Sir James Hall, he comments on the 
manner in which my very title-page did homage to the 
Huttonians, and complimented me for thus disavowing all 
pretensions to be the originator of the theory of the ade- 
quacy of modem causes. 

Yet, to how many of your readers, who will never see my 
work, will your elaborate advocacy of Hutton seem to imply 
that I overlooked, or have been unwilling to acknowledge 
even in a moderate degree, his just pretensions ! It was ray 
business, in tracing the progress of our science to its present 
state, to estimate the importance of each writer, and adjust 
the quantity of space due to him in my historical sketch, not 
simply according to his originality and genius, but partly at 
least in proportion to his influence ; and I still think that 
Werner's eloquence, popularity, enthusiasm, and position at 
Preyberg, placed him in this point of view as much above 
Hutton as I have represented him to fall below him in refer- 
ence to the truth of his theories. Yet as an admirer of 
Hutton all I could have wished is, that your paneg)rric on 
Hutton had appeared as aiding and seconding my efibrts, 


50 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxil. 

since I trust that no book has made the claims of Hatton 
better known on the Continent of late years than mine. 

As the * Edinburgh Review * has been so long in noticing 
any of my writings, it is really a great point to have at last 
been honoured by so very long an article, though I doubt 
not I have lost much by Napier's cashiering. But I have 
no more room to thank you now for having taken so mucli 
pains to write what I regard, in spite of the Huttonian 
episode, so very favourable a critique on my productions. 

With our joint remembrances to Mrs. Fitton, 

Believe me ever most sincerely yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Sistee. 

Dudmaston : September 1, 1839. 

My dear Sophy, — After the business of the Section (at 
the British Association at Birmingham) on Tuesday in which 
I took a part, as you will see by the * Athenaeum,* a party of 
us set off by railway to Tamworth, to go twenty-seven miles 
before reaching Sir Eobert Peel's, whereas the direct road is 
only fourteen north of Birmingham. We first went about 
fifteen miles on the road to Coventry, and then turning off 
on a new railway lately opened to Derby, we were taken to 
Tamworth, where three of Sir Robert's carriages were in 
attendance to convey us and our bags about three miles to 
his place, which we reached after eight o'clock, having 
been rather more than two hours on the road. When in 
motion we went always at the rate of twenty-two miles per 
hour, but time had been lost in starting, and when we turned 
off from the great London road, we had to wait sixteen 
minutes to see whether there were any passengers in the 
train from London booked for Derby. During this stop we 
had a fine view of the great luggage train, in which there 
were no passengers, but forty-eight waggons laden with 
baggage covered with canvas. It seemed of interminable 
length, was preceded by two locomotives, and passed us at 
fall speed, having to keep clear of a train only ten minutes 
behind it. To prevent this train from running into it, the 
last carriage contained a huge red lamp which looked like a 


<;onflagration. It was a marvellous sight to see it shoot by. 
At Tamworth there is a fine viaduct, and Tamworth Castle is 
a fine and very ancient building. We found Lady Peel in 
the drawing-room, who is tall, handsome, and ladylike, but 
rather grave. Sir Robert received us very pleasantly, and we 
should have sat down soon after eight if Whewell had been 
dressed, but it was nearly nine before the dinner began. 
Whewell and Lord Northampton sat on each side of Lady 
Peel, Murchison, Mr. Lloyd, son of the Principal of Dublin 
University, Comte de Cambour, a French mathematician, who 
lias published the best work on the theory of steam engines, 
Fox Talbot (photogenic), John Taylor, Treasurer of British 
Association, Mr. Yates, Honorary Secretary of ditto. Major 
Sabine, late Mathematical Secretaiy to the Royal Society, 
and myself. I sat on Sir Robert's right hand, and daring a 
conversation of three hours we talked of a great variety of 
subjects ; antiquities of Tamworth, railways, paintings, 
sculpture, chartists of Kirriemuir, Birmingham, &c., British 
Association, bearing of geology on Scripture, Wordsworth's 
Poems, Chantrey's busts. Some of the party said next day 
that Peel never gave an opinion for or against any point from 
extra caution, but I really thought that he expressed himself 
as freely, even on subjects bordering on the political, as a well- 
bred man could do when talking with another with whose 
opinions he was unacquainted. He was very curious to 
know what Vernon Harcourt had said on the connection of 
religion and science. I told him of it and my own ideas, and in 
the middle of my strictures on the Dean of York's pamphlet 
I exclaimed, * By-the-bye, I have only just remembered that 
lie is your brother-in-law.' He said, * Yes, he is a clever 
man and a good writer, but if men will not read any one book 
written by scientific men on such a subject, they must take the 
consequences.' After he had explained to me how railways 
were taxed, I pointed out to him Lord Carnegie's proof that 
such a method acted as a bonus towards the imposition of 
high fares. This he saw, and admitted as an e\ il. If I had 
not known Sir Robert's extensive acquirements, T should 
only have thought him an intelligent, well-informed country 
gentleman, not slow, but without any quickness, free from 
tiiat kind of party feeling which prevents men from fairly 

B 2 

52 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xkiu 

appreciating those who diflfer from them, taking pleasure in 
improvements, without enthusiasm, not capable of joining^ 
in a heartj laugh at a good joke, but cheerfiil, and not pre- 
venting Lord Northampton, Whewell, and others from 
making merry. He is without a tincture of science, and in-^ 
terested in it only so far as knowing its importance in the 
arts and as a subject with which a large body of persons of 
talent are occupied. He told me he was one of the early 
members of the British Association, and that he was glad that 
we had persevered in holding our meeting at Birmingham 
under discouraging circumstances ; yet I learnt afterwards 
from the Birmingham Committee of Management, that when 
some of them, being personal friends of Sir Robert, asked his- 
opinion only three weeks before, he could not venture any 
opinion at all. Being pressed to come in to the grand dinner 
on Thursday, he said he was so unpopular in Birming- 
ham that he would only be an element of discord where all 
was harmony as far as the British Association was concerned. 
His refusal was a disappointment to the leading members of 
the British Association and to his political friends in Birming- 
ham, where he would have been well received. There are 
many beautiful pictures and statues, of which he was very 
happy to give us a full account. He pressed us most politely 
not to hurry back to our business next morning, but to stay 
and breakfast with the family, which some did ; but most of 
us returned early, and I was reading a paper at eleven 
o'clock, but I contrived besides breakfasting to see the 
garden, which, although not a fine one, pleased me from 
having each kind of flower in large masses. In the dining- 
room is a single picture by Haydon of Napoleon in St. 
Helena. It was very striking. Sir Robert told me that 
there is an ode on it by Wordsworth which is given in the 
* Quarterly Review ' in a late article on Waagen's Tour in 
England. It represents Napoleon with his back turned 
towards you, looking from a height on the boundless ocean. 
Among ihe pieces of sculpture are some remarkable statues 
by Gibson of Liverpool ? artist. But the most striking is a 
bust which Roubilliac made for Lord Bolingbroke. Chantrey 
made Sir Robert a present of his own bust of Sir Walter 
Scott as a pendant for this. I might meet Sir Robert 


Peel in society and visit him for years without having 
as much talk with him as from having thus by accident sat 
next him for three hours. He is looking in wonderfully 
better health and spirits than when I met him at the Boyal 
Society with Sir H. Davy ten years or more ago. He is 
much taken up with his boys, and had been showing Liver- 
pool to them. 

Ever afPectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 
To Chables Babbaoe, Esq. 

London : August 11, 1840. 

Dear Babbage, — I send you two guidebooks for the steam 
trip on the Seine, and you will not be whirled by the geo- 
logy, and old Sully's chfl>teau and Coeur de Lion's Castle, 
Ac., as we were, at fifteen miles an hour. Pray read the 
accompanying geological notes, and inquire about that 
strange coating of salt, and write to me about it. Address to 
Hart Street from Paris, for I am writing on it, and would 
give much to be able to go and hammer with you at those 
fine old inland sea-clififs. I wish you could land and send 
me notes enough for a joint paper on the subject. The salt 
at Andelys was liberally laid on the surface. As I once saw 
a raised beach with recent marine shells thirty feet high 
near the base of the cUff under the lighthouse at Cap la H^ve, 
there has been an elevation there in geologically modem 
times, but still perhaps twenty thousand years ago, and that 
cannot explain the inland cliffs having their incrustation of 
salt. But bear in mind how little would make the valley of 
the Seine once more a deep bay bounded by chalk cliffs. As I 
only found out the salt when I got home, I unluckily cannot 
say whether any part of the ^ roches d'Orival ' (the first, I 
believe, which you will see of the grand old cliffs) has a 
saline incrustation. The surface is decomposing these and 


Ever faithfully yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

[In the autumn of 1841, Mr. Lyell paid his first visit to the 
TJnited States, and lectured at the Lowell InBtitution, Boston. He 
was thirteen months absent, and made toiurs in Canada and Nova 

54 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxiu 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Lockport [near Niagara] : August 26, 1841. 

My dear Homer, — I am much obliged to you for your 
news of the British Association at Devonport, and the Geo- 
logical Society Section, and glad that Phillips has come out 
with his Devonian fossils. Mr. James Hall, State Geologist of 
New York, who is now travelling with me, wishes much to 
have the book. I have been getting up the details of their 
Silurian system with great pleasure, comparing the supposed 
ancient boundaries of Lake Ontario, when it was 150 feet 
higher, with its present shore, the phenomena of drift and er- 
ratics, and other features of the geology here, with which as- 
well as with their working scientific men I have been much 
pleased. The signs everywhere of rapid progress and sudden 
conversion of the wilderness into a region covered with 
populous cities and communicating with each other by rail- 
ways, canals, and river steamboats, which go through still 
waters at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, is quite exhilara^ 
ting to me. I was warned by an English officer not to be 
misled by so dazzling a spectacle, for that so much was due 
to borrowed capital, and has ended and will end in countless 
bankruptcies. But the real wealth of this country in cities, 
steamboats, &c., must soon, like its population, equal that of 
the land from which it draws so much borrowed money. 
Colonel Coulson told me in the ^ Acadia,' that he and other 
officers could not help being annoyed in Canada, at witness- 
ing the superior rate at which each new American city 
founded on the shores of the great lakes, surpassed in a few 
years in population, wealth, steamers, churches, and build- 
ings, its British neighbour, enjoying all the same natural 
advantages. I remember asking Mr. Mallet,^ who rarely 
fails to clear up my difficulties in political economy, to ex- 
plain this, and he admitted that although the French Seig- 
neuries, and other remains of feudal tenures, as well as a 
colder climate, would account for some part of the contrast,. 
yet it would not do for large tracts in Upper Canada. Colonel 
Coulson told me, that when he expressed wonder during the 
rebellion, that land sold so high on the borders, he was- 

' John Lewis Mallet, Esq., son of the celebrated Mallet du Pan, for many- 
years Secretary of the Audit Board. 


answered by a purchaser, that should Canada change hands, 
its selling price would immediately be doubled. I think I 
have found a complete explanation of this enigma. 

The population in the United States is now increasing in 
the enormous ratio of 800,000 a year, of which about 100,000 
only come from Europe. The great movement of colonisa^ 
tion westward is supplied mainly by New Englanders, all, 
whether Locofocos (Radicals) or Whigs (that is Conservatives), 
devotedly attached to their own institutions, and mostly 
anti-slavery politicians. 

An estate in Ohio is worth double one of equally goo<l 
land across the river in Kentucky, because the New Eng- 
landers will not colonise the slave state. So will they avoid 
British or foreign institutions in Canada, and people densely 
Inferior land on their own side the border. 

There is not so much drought here as farther east. 
Among the trees we are much struck with a fir tree called a 
hemlock, and with several kinds of walnuts, such as the 
butternut and hickory, and various kinds of oaks, and the 
sugar maple. I have seen one tree frog, and last night 
heard several catydids or grasshoppers, which croak as loud 
as frogs. There is a yellow flower — a soliddgoy which is as 
vulgar a weed as our Scotch weebow,* but to my eyes more 
elegant; a knotweed, which looks just like ours, is most 
abundant. Heaths are unknown, so is furze, and we miss 
our wee crimson-tipped daisy. The wild roses are past, but 
we have seen a few. We do not meet with many people of 
colour so far north, but without being an anti-abolitionist, 
I am sometimes half inclined to believe, that when the geolo- 
gical time arrives according to the system of progressive 
development for a being as much transcending the white 
man in intellect as the Caucasian race excels the chim- 
panzee, he will be puzzled in his work on natural history, 
when he comes to the order Primates, and has to decide 
whether the projecting os calcis and elongated ulna, and the 
more moderate share of intellectual endowment, must not 
force him to admit of two species, in spite of the innumer- 
able crosses which we meet with here at every step. 

Believe me ever your affectionate son-in-law, 

Chables Lyell. 

* Scnedo Jacobxa. 

56 5"/;? CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxii. 

To Leonabd Hobneb, Esq. 

Albany : September 21, 1841. 

My dear Horner, — Mary has mentioned how much I was 
pleased with the Blossburg coal-field, which is the only for- 
mation except Silurian, Old Bed, and Post Pliocene, that I 
have yet seen. Its analogy in fossils, white quartzose sand- 
stones, bituminous shales, carbonate of iron, &c., with Eng- 
lish coal-fields, is truly surprising. Dr. Saynisch* was an 
excellent guide. When Prince Maximilian of Neuwied was 
here, he travelled with him to the prairies, and the genuine 
descendants of John Bull were very intrusive in their desire 
to see a Prince, and used to march in without ceremony and 
ask the Doctor whether they could see the Prince. * Yes, 
if you will pay twenty-five cents.' * Nay, but I wish to see 
him.\ Upon which the good-natured Max came out and said, 
*Here I am,' and they went away disappointed to see a 
shortish man, in ordinary attire, instead of a magnificent 
hero in purple and gold. Dr. Saynisch practises gratui- 
tously on the homoeopathic system, and we saw him measure 
out some powders of infinitesimal quantities to a tall stout 
miner, adding injunctions about diet, in which I suspect lay 
the real force of the panacea. He likes the people, but told 
me some anecdotes in explanation of his not being in love 
with their institutions. He came with a strong predilection 
for the democratic party, but says they have cured him, not 
by homoeopathic, but allopathic doses. He says it is the 
same with most German Liberals whom he knows. I have 
just been calling on the Governor of this State — his Excel- 
lency Mr. Seward — and expected to see a man of venerable 
age, but found him, as I do almost all men who are in active 
employment in this stirring country, a good deal younger 
than myself. He said he had already written to me, and he 
heard me very attentively on the subject of the Survey, and 
the best manner of getting out the final report with illustra- 
tions. General Dix, formerly Secretary of State, and origi- 
nator of the Geological Survey, called on me, a gentleman- 
like man of my own age, and talked on the same subject. 
I was glad to tell him how well I thought upon the whole 

* President of the mine. 


the plan had worked, especially in creating a set of practical 
^jid scientific hammer-bearers. Ton see in many books on 
the United States that the people are very good humoured 
and full of jokes. The £Eict seems to be, that the great 
throng of them are from fifteen to twenty years younger 
than those you meet with playing the same active part in 
Europe. Yesterday, as I stood in the bar-room of a wayside 
tevexil on our retnm from Scholarie, the young proprietor i 
of a large pedlar's waggon marches up to the bar-keeper and 
says, * Can we have dinner P ' * Yes, for how many ? ' * Eight 
remarkably handsome young men.' *Very well; in ten 
minutes.' All day this sort of thing goes on as a matter of 
<50urse between perfect strangers. 

I am very glad to hear that you have a geological paper 
on trap dikes on the stocks; the width of some dikes in 
■Connecticut, and the manner in which they turned from 
intrasive walls into intercalated and nearly horizontal sheets, 
has interested me much, but the subdivisions of their Silurian 
system have chiefly occupied me. 

PkUadelphia: September 27. — Here I am, working away in 
quarries of greensand, and picking up belemnites and other 
cretaceous fossils, with Conrad for my guide, whom I am 
happy to find quite at my service, and the best-informed 
paleontologist on this side the Atlantic. 

You probably never heard of the Helderberg war, but as 
it was the great talk while we were geologising among the 
hills of that name in Albany County, New York, I must in- 
form all you who live cWkof the world, that this is now the 
third year's campaign. When old Van Renssalror died, the 
last nobleman in the United States, his vast landed estate 
was divided' among three sons. A population of about 
40,000 inhabited the share which fell to the eldest, who 
endeavoured to get regular payment of his rent, besides 
arrears, which his indulgent predecessor had allowed to 
accumulate. Now the payment of rent being most unusual 
in the United States, where every man farms his own land, 
or what he calls his* own, for it is often deeply mortgaged, 
was voted quite an abuse of the old feudal times. They 
thought they had paid long enough, and said with some 
truth, that they had cleared a wilderness and created the 

S8 SIR CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxii. 

property themselves. So they would pay nothing. The 
laird appealed to the Sheriff, but they laughed at law pro- 
cesses, and at constables, till finally the Sheriff asked for 
troops from the Governor, who caJled on the Volunteers,, 
who, as with us, proved, however constitutional a force, to be 
a most unfit one to interfere with temper and discipline. 
The farmers and peasantry turned out, erected barricades,, 
and mounted some brass cannons, and have set the Govern* 
ment for three years at defiance, not one farthing of rent 
paid the while, and a party disguised as Indians maltreated 
a constable while we were there, and it was feared for a 
time that he was murdered. It is allowed that the landlord 
has mismanaged matters, and been far too uncompromising,, 
but I must say, that after what the New Yorkers did in the 
Canada War, and since in Macleod's affair, I think there is 
a want either of energy in those who should enforce law, or 
of respect for it in the minds of the majority.® 

With my love to all, believe me yours affectionately, 

Charles Lyell» 

To De. Mantell. 

Boston : October 29, 1841. 

My dear Mantell, — I was glad to hear of you from Dr» 
Silliman, who has probably told you of a visit which we 
paid to him and his very agreeable family at Newhaven. 
After staying two days with them we went by New York and 
the Hudson to Albany, where I began my explorings in the 
Silurian strata, and from thence I examined the valley of 
the Mohawk, in company with Mr. James Hall, who has 
been employed by the Government with fom' others, to survey 
the State of New York, which is about the size of our island* 
The Falls of Niagara were as beautiful as I expected, per- 
haps scarcely so grand, but in geological interest far beyond 
my most sanguine hopes. As I shall send a paper on the 
proofs of their recession to the Geological Society, I will not 
dwell on them now. After spending some time there, I 
examined seriatim all the Silurian groups in the Old Red and 
Coal on the borders of Pennsylvania. Eeturuing to Albany 

• See TraveU in North Ameri/ia, by Charles Lyell, vol. i. p. 68. 

i84i. MISSOURIUM. 69^ 

I went south to Philadelphia, and spent four days in collect- 
ing in the different divisions of the Green sand in New 
Jersey, having Conrad as my guide. The analogy of the 
genera, and even of the species to the European chalk, is 
most striking. I went with Dr. Harlan ^ to see the great 
skeleton brought by a German, Koch, from the Missouri ; a 
very large Mastodon which he calls the Missourium. He 
has turned the wonderfully huge tusks the wrong way — 
horizontally — has made the first pair of ribs into clavicles,, 
and has intercalated several spurious dorsal and caudal 
vertebrae, and has placed the toe-bones wrong, to prove, what 
he really believes, that it was web-footed. 1 think he is a 
mixture of an enthusiast and an impostor, but more of the 
former, and amusingly ignorant. His mode of advertising 
is a thousand dollars reward for any one who will prove that 
the bones of his Missourium are made of wood. He is soon 
to take them to London, when you ^vill have a great treat,, 
fajid see a larger femur than that of the Iguanodon. Harlan 
is lost in admiration at the bones of this and other indivi- 
duals, all belonging to the old Ohio Mastodon of Cuvier, 
from very young to very old individuals. He has also other 
fossils. Of my tour into the anthracite regions of Pennsyl- 
vania you will hear the results when the paper I sent Fitton 
on the Stigmaria clays is read. I like the people here very- 
much, and have a most attentive class of about 2,000 both 
at my morning and evening lectures. 

My lectures here will take me four weeks more, and my 
plan is then to run away from the winter so far south as to 
enable me to keep the field, examining especially the creta- 
ceous and tertiary formations, and not to go northwards till 
the spring has fairly opened this fine country. 

Believe me, my dear Mantell, ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

' An eminent osteologist ; died in 1843. 

60 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxiii. 


JUNE 1842-DECEMBEE 1843. 


To Leonard Hoeneb, Esq. 

Lcwiston, Canada : June 13, 1842. 

My dear Horner, — We have come to this place from the 
Great Falls to-day, having by the way enjoyed some ex- 
cursions to the top and foot of the great precipice which 
bounds the river, and I have found some additional evidence 
of value to my mind, in favour of the recession of the Falls, 
having traced the freshwater formation three miles and a half 
down on the summit of the cliff, the old river bed. I was 
occupied a week in active exploration of the Niagara district, 
and understood it much better. The raised beaches of Lake 
Erie are more difficult to explain than the Niagara ravine, 
and I hope in descending the St. Lawrence to get some new 
lights on these matters. To-morrow we sail for Toronto. I 
shall now look back a little into my journal. The contrast 
of the disturbed and bent Coal, Devonian, and Silurian in the 
Alleghanies, with the vast expanse of horizontal beds of the 
same formations west of the immediate base of those moun- 
tains as far as we went in Ohio and borders of Kentucky, 
is very interesting, and the magnitude of the coal-fields is 
prodigious. The new aspect worn by the same subdivisions 
of the rocks below the coal in Ohio, as compared with what 

1842. NIAGARA, 61 

I had previously seen of the same in New York, was very 
instructive. I continue to be struck with the general 
analogy of American and European geology, as regards the 
fossiliferous groups, which surprises me, it seems so much 
greater than between North and South Europe. I shall have 
a great stock of communications to make to the Geological 
Society on my return. We have been having remarkably 
cool weather at Niagara. There was even ice two nights 
during our stay there, but this was favourable to health and 
work. It has a strange eflFect when you ha^ve succeeded in 
obtaining some view of the Falls in which nothing appears 
but sky, wood, and water, and, when you are listening to the 
sound of the Falls, to be suddenly wakened out of your reverie 
by the loud whistle of a locomotive drawing a load of 
tourists and of merchants trafficking between the east and 
west, who discuss the Falls in three hours between two trains. 
Goat Island is the most perfect fairyland that I know. The 
views of the two Falls from it, and of the rapids which sur- 
round it, are delightful, and in the walks through its natural 
and aboriginal forest, you catch no view of the houses and 
mills which rise in the village on the United States side^ 
bearing the ominous name of Manchester, and which may, I 
fear, ere ten years are past, extend some of its factories into 
the beautiful island. We purchased, on coming away, a 
daguerreotype of the Falls, and I think you will be surprised 
to see how well the sun has overcome the difficulty of 
the moving waters. What would I give for a daguerreotype 
of the scene as it was 4,000, and again 40,000 years ago ! even 
four centuries would have been very important. 

I am glad to have seen Ohio, as the finest example of 
rapid colonisation on record. The passage of manufactured 
goods and of the plough was at first from the Ohio north- 
wards ; but no sooner were steamers introduced into the lakes^ 
than wealth and emigrants were landed on the northern 
shore from Lake Erie, and the central forests are now alone 
uncleared. It is supposed it might easily support a popula- 
tion equal to that of England and Scotland, but the move- 
ment westward prevents the filling up after the first occupa- 
tion. The annual addition of people now made to the United 
States is just equal to that of the most flourishing State, Massa- 

€2 S/R CHARLES LYELL, chap, xxiii. 

cliusetts, exceeding 700,000, of which a small part, only a 
seventh I am told, comes from Europe. It is a curious fact, 
with which Mr. Ticknor surprised Lord Holland some years 
ago, that the number of white persons now living in the United 
States exceeds the total number of all who have been buried in 
the United States from the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, 
and this may probably be true fifty years hence. I leave you 
to work out the enigma. So long as the Pennsylvanian Ger- 
mans and settlers coming from the Rhine predominated in 
Ohio, no money. could bo obtained for public education, nor 
for roads; but the moment the New Englanders had the 
majority, a liberal tax for these purposes was assessed. 
About a fifth of the whole population of Ohio is said to 
speak German, but a much greater number are of German 
origin. We found at Columbus, in the centre of the State 
and the seat of Legislature, that there was a church with a 
congregation of 300 to whom sermons are preached in the 
Welsh language. In the Legislature of New Orleans, I 
learn that speeches are made indifferently in French and 
English. Is it not singular that the whole body of German 
farmers, all proprietors of land, those anti-innovation men, 
who would vote nothing for any improvements, are the most 
ultra democrats, or rather they are blind tools in the hands 
of demagogues ? One principle avowed by their leaders is, 
that schools and colleges naturally breed aristocrats, and 
they therefore seize every opportunity of permanently voting 
away those lands and funds which were originally set apart 
by the central government for popular and university educa- 
tion. In various other States the same mischief has been 
done, and a war waged against all corporation property and 
State lands. In Georgia they have lately put the whole 
State lands into a lottery, and every one drew for prizes, 
and they could not give the usual grant to the Medical 
College at Augusta. If some of the State debts are re- 
pudiated, it will be the fruit of universal suffi-age, for they 
might all pay easily if they would tax themselves moderately. 
Although I have been too busy with geology to have learnt 
much in proportion to our tour respecting the politics and 
institutions of the United States, I am already surprised at 
the little that is known in England about matters here, where 


there is so much worth imitating as well as avoiding. Part 
of Ohio is called the Indian Reservation, and it is singular 
that there is more wild game there than anywhere else, for 
they will let no wild animals be disturbed except they want 
them. You often see written up on the high road * Mover's 
House/ an empty wood building, in which emigrants may 
pass the night. Another common inscription is ^Cash 
Store,' which does not mean a bank, but that you cannot 
l)uy in that shop for barter. The terms bakery and book- 
bindery seem useful Teutonicisms. They have many mules 
in Ohio, which I heard commended for their longevity, an 
advantage I never thought of before. Ask Darwin if he is 
aware of the hybrid having borrowed a portion of the ass's 
length of days. What a perfectly intermediate creature ! 

Kingstoriy Upper Canada: January 19. — In looking over 
part of this letter I see some inconsistency, and you might 
ask how could the annulling of universal suffi:age bring 
matters right in Ohio, if nearly half the landed proprietors 
are most ultra democrats. The fact is, that had the votes 
of the low Irish and German Catholic emigrants who can 
vote after five years, by a law which was an innovation on 
the original charter of Washington and his colleagues ; 
had these votes of the merest breakers of stone and hewers 
of wood been cancelled at the last election, the returns 
would have been entirely opposite, as these uneducated new- 
•comers, except a minority of Protestants, all go en ma^e 
with the demagogues ; yet in spite of this and other evils, 
I have not been in any country, where, if I was so unfor- 
tunate as to live out of my own, I could so well settle as in the 
United States ; even in Ohio, as at Cincinnati. You would 
find ample sympathy among the vast mass of more intelligent 
Americans in your disapproval of all the more glaring faults 
in their institutions ; nine-tenths of those with whom we 
are thrown feel keenly the disgrace of any repudiation of 
State debts, and had the New Englanders been left to 
people the new States, without the influx of the dregs of 
Europe, bringing with them violent anti-aristocratic and 
Chartist feelings, great want of education, Irish sectarian 
Catholicism, and other prejudices, their credit would now I 
believe have stood as high as it does in the New England 

64 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxiii. 

States, where they are so thriving, in spite of universal 
suffrage. When once Americans see that you have a 
thorough respect for them and their country, they at once 
throw aside their optimism. For example, on my remarking 
to a merchant of Cincinnati that their Presidential elections 
gave rise to so much intrigue, bribery, and corruption, as to- 
reconcile any one to monarchy where it was established, 
* You are right, sir, and our Presidents have more power in the 
way of patronage and vetos than your kings ever had. The 
worst pages in English history are the wars of a disputed 
succession, but ours is one continued civil war of the same 
kind, and if the contending parties do not kill each other in 
the body, they do all they can with bribes and threats to da 
injurj' to their morals and principles/ You and I would hear 
more in good society here (in Canada) in one week, which we 
should consider narrow-minded and prejudiced and ungene- 
rous to foreigners, in matters of politics, religion, and political 
economy, than we heard in nine months in the United States, 
for they have here all the Kleinstadterei of a colony and the 
enmity of the borderer, added to everything that you might 
disapprove of which they bring from home. They know very 
little of the United States, and do not wish to know more ; 
but of course there are many exceptions, and allowance 
must be made for the abominable interference of the uncon- 
trolled American mobs in the late rebellion here, where the 
United States sympathisers brought cannon from the State 
arsenals, and the collision of the violent democratic party, of 
those bom and bred in the new clearings, with the aristocratic 
feelings of capitalists and ofi&cials who come straight from. - 
Europe. But I must conclude, and with love to all. 
Believe me ever most affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltkll. 

To His Sister. 

Truro, Nova Scotia : July 30, 1842. 

My dear Marianne,— We have just returned from an 
expedition of three days to the Strait which divides Nova 
Scotia from New Brunswick, whither I went to see a forest 
of fossil coal-trees — the most wonderful phenomenon perhaps 


that I have seen, bo upright do the trees stand, or so perpen- 
dicular to the strata, in the ever- wasting cliffs, every year a 
new crop being brought into view, as the violent tides of the 
Bay of Pundy, and the intense frost of the winters here, 
combine to destroy, undermine, and sweep away the old one — 
trees tweniy-five feet high, and some have been seen of forty 
feet, piercing the beds of sandstone and terminating down- 
wards in the same beds, usually coal. This subterranean 
forest exceeds in extent and quantity of timber all that have 
been discovered in Europe put together. The new deposit 
of red mud of the numerous estuaries here affords me end- 
less instruction. At this place, Truro, the tide is said to 
rise seventy-five feet. So wo see the bottom of a deep salt- 
water sea, its rippled sands, shells, the holes of Mya and 
TeUina and their tracks, footmarks of birds and worms, the 
manner in which the clays crack and are marked by rain, 
and sometimes shells enclosed recently in solid nodules of 
claystone. I have also learnt more about the geological 
effects of drifting ice in the last ten days than in all the 
Canadian tour. The people here are quite loyal and mon- 
archical, but their manners just as in the States. Mr. Lowell 
remarked to me one day, that nothing so much surprises the 
American readers of the * Quarterly Review ' as to see so 
much which they know to be purely the result of circum- 
stances, not political in the United States, attributed exclu- 
sively to the difference of their institutions from ours. There 
is so strong a conservative party among the rich and literary 
class in the United States, that the constant bitterness of 
the * Quarterly Review,' * Blackwood,' and other journals on 
the same side, and newspapers, against their country, which 
they resent from patriotic feelings, works precisely in the way 
which an ultra democrat, and still more a person opposed to 
an established church, would wish. When one reflects in 
how short a time, a time which even the present generation 
will live to see, the population of the United States will 
exceed ours, how short-sighted is all this ! for the ideas of the 
United States must soon react much more powerfully on the 
English part of the Old World than they have done yet. 

We have seen a great many woods, in which the low 
Kalmia angvstifolia in flower purpled the ground almost as 

VOL. n. F 

66 s/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxiii. 

much as the large heath in Hampshire, and reminded us of 
the entire absence of heaths. The variety of wood here is very 
great, but the trees not so large. The quantity of birch and 
fir is the most novel feature. The quantity of rich marsh 
land gained from the sea forms the chief wealth of the 
region we have seen. You can no more let land here than 
in the United States, for anyone may obtain acres of his 
own nearly as cheap. This circumstance alone, besides the 
absence of any hereditary aristocracy, and a well-endowed 
established church, would assimilate this or any other genuine 
English colony to one of the States of the Union. 

Tour affectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Geoege Tioknoe, Esq. 

Kinnordy : October 12, 1842. 

My dear Mr. Ticknor, — When I wrote a few words to 
you last week I was busy with the preparation of my paper 
on the Niagara district. On reconsidering my journal, I find 
a good many subjects of general interest to the naturalist as 
well as to the geologist, which would not easily enter into any 
of the twelve or more distinct subjects, such as Niagara, 
fossil Mastodons, Alleghany Coal, Nova Scotia Coal, Martha's 
Vineyard, &c., some of which have been, and others are to 
be, read at our Geological Society, abstracts appearing in 
their proceedings. 

It struck me that in a journal of my tour a place could 
be found for these matters, and a few of my impressions of 
the country and people, omitting names of persons, except 
my scientific fellow-labourers, and generally all things not 
scientific. On making notes this last week, for this journal, 
or ^ personal narrative,' I soon found that there would be 
danger of its growing to a book, which, as I gave all my 
thoughts in the United States to my own science, would do 
me no credit, though a bookseller would prefer it to the 
scientific ballast which might be overcome by the specific 
levity of the first part of the performance, and so fioat up 
the vessel. Yet, I cannot bear not to take the opportunity, 
not only of telling my scientific friends what route I took. 

1 842. REPUDIA TION. 67 

and how long I tarried, that they may test my opportunities 
of observation — but also of saying how I liked and what I 
thought of the people and country, as I ran through it on 
the railway, or the deck of the steamer. It may be said in 
a few words, thought I ; so I made a few notes of my voyage 
and tour to Niagara, Blossburg, and Boston, with quotations 
from my journal, on the exhilarating effect of viewing the 
signs of such rapid progress in population, and the railways, 
churches, and school-houses among the stumps, &c. But I 
know by experience the remark which this would provoke 
here, ^ It is very easy to go ahead with other people's 
money.' The answer is, that all the States of New England 
and New York, traversed in that first excursion, have either 
no debts, or have paid the interest of their debts, or have 
made railways with their own money, and their credit in 
trying times lias stood high ; yet their form of government 
is as popular as anywhere. But I must not shirk the 
* Helderberg War,' but allude honestly to the only shady 
side of the picture forced on my sight in the first six weeks. 

The New York people admitted it was a disgrace, just as 
we do when in Ireland the sheriff and soldiers fail year after 
year in distraining for rent, and ejectments are defied by the 
physical force of a mob, and are often permanently defeated. 
There are only two or three other diflBcult points which have yet 
struck me as requiring to be entered into, in order that I may 
not be addressed by the critics in the words with which Lord 
Lovelace met me soon after I came back : ^ So, Lyell, I un- 
derstand you have returned ipsis Americanis Americanior ! ' 

First, as to Repudiation : your letter on Sydney Smith 
only expressed what persons of opposite parties, and all 
whom we lived with, had said. As to gambling speculations, 
not guaranteed by States, they are like our bubbles of 1826, 
our late Australian bankruptcies, &c. ; but the suspension of 
interest by Pennsylvania and other States, I attribute to 
universal suffrage and the votes of aliens. But I may add 
the similar extension of franchise would immediately cause 
the non-payment of the interest of our debt ; therefore, the 
wonder is that with these institutions any States pay, and 
that the Central Government can still borrow. It seems to 
imply a higher standard of education or morality, or less 

F 2 

68 SIR CHARLES LYELL, chap, xxiiu 

poverty, I would enter on this subject d propoa to the great 
distress I witnessed in Philadelphia, partly from the alarm 
of the stoppage of the State dividends, partly the United 
States bank. On this side of the water the suflFerers think 
that Brother Jonathan has come off a winner by their losses,, 
and they are surprised and softened when I tell them how 
great has been the calamity on the other side of the Atlantic. 
Perhaps I may say that, in proportion to the small capital 
which the Americans have to invest permanently for incomes,, 
the ruin was as severe with them as with us. But then 
comes the hardest task of all— the Southern States. No part 
of my tour was more agreeable and instructive, geologically,, 
than that south of the Potomac, and it has much changed 
my feelings towards the planters, however much I may 
think of slavery as I did before. The domestic and farm 
slaves whom we saw were a cheerful, often merry and light- 
hearted set ; childlike, conceited, boastful, but not a suffer- 
ing class, when compared with what may be witnessed in 
Europe, and at home. They are uneducated, and not in the 
way of being improved or raised in station. I had them 
often with me for days, and neither saw nor heard of ill- 
treatment. It is anj-thing but an economical system, unless- 
where rice-grounds, sugar, or cotton, and crops which I did 
not see, may make it desirable to have an animal that can 
stand the climate. The evils to the whites are innumerable. 
If poor, there is no place for them ; if rich, they have ixy 
submit to the indolence and inefficiency of their slaves, to 
doctor them when ill, support them when bedridden, guard 
against their being excited by Abolitionists, &c. Their 
children are corrupted by them, being made vain by flattery^ 
spoilt by power. If I give the favourable part of such a 
picture, and enumerate the difficulty and danger of attempt^ 
ing any reform, because convinced that foreign and American 
interference has been hitherto injudicious, I might throw my 
mite into the wrong scale. When with the planters, seeing 
their kindness to the slaves, and feeling that had I inherited 
their estates, I should not well know what to do ; I could not 
but feel that a London emancipation meeting, or a list of 
advertisements by Dickens, raked out of newspapers from 
s, would irritate and indispose me to exert myself 


in forwarding the cause of emancipation. Sydney Smith 
said to me one day: *'But you should hold up the system to 
the reprobation of mankind,' I replied that it must be a 
work of time, sacrifices must be made, and the philanthro- 
pists ought to share them with the planters. Then comes 
the objection that an indemnity to purchase the liberty of 
all the slaves would exceed the means of the whole Union. 
This only proves that the Abolitionists ought to have con- 
fined their efiTorts within practicable limits. Might they not 
have begun attending to a few northern slave States, most 
xipe for a change to the better ? As to our English meddling, 
it is like repeal meetings in America ; and Lord Lansdowne 
-said very well, when Lord Ashley's exposS of the collieries 
was made, they had better have been looking nearer home 
than speechifying about the miseries of the American blacks. 
A candid anti-slavery philanthropist from England in the 
midst of a black population, and asked by a planter what he 
would do if his British ancestors had bequeathed to him such 
An inheritance, would generally, I suspect, feel taken aback. 

Perhaps by this time you are beginning to feel the same 
sort of surprise and alarm about my journal that I might 
feel were I to receive by next post a letter from you, 
announcing a project of a work on the literature, arts, and 
manners of Spain, Italy, &c., with your first impressions on 
the geology of those countries. But I beg you to consider 
that I am now setting before you all the most doubtful and 
difiicult topics, which will only come in incidentally, if at all, 
in the journal devoted chiefly to remarks and speculations on 
natural history and science. 

When they are placed in their niches in a large building, 
they will shrink, I hope, into their due proportions, or may 
be omitted many of them altogether. I should be glad to 
give vent to the sensation of freshness, cheerfulness, hope, 
and delight on first visiting America, and seeing such a 
glorious prospect of rapid progress in knowledge and civilisa- 
tion, a feeling which I retained to the last ; and my work will 
not be the worse received here, from my being able to 
declare how much I found of a kindred spirit in the state of 
society and institutions of our Queen's most loyal subjects in 
JJova Scotia. I could wish that what I draw up by-and-by. 

70 SIR CHARLES LYELL, chap, xxiik 

when I have heard from you, should be shown to some can- 
did Southern man. I do not think that these points of 
diflSculty would come once in twenty pages in that fourth or 
fifth part of my volume which is not made up of purely 
scientific memoirs. I shall have to talk of the sea-shells in 
Boston harbour being in great part like European species, of 
forest trees, humming birds, the absence of heaths, azaleas, 
distinctness of plants and animals, tortoises, alligators, &c. 
After all, I was so much in cities, with men who were not 
mere naturalists, and have had since my return to talk right 
or wrong on United States aflFairs, with those who know less of 
them than me, that I should like to have my say, A man- 
ager of the Maryland Iron-works, when I stood up against the 
tariff and for free trade, said : * I grant all your political 
economy, and you may be right, if to increase wealth and popu- 
lation was the only good ; but I ask you, as a literary and 
scientific man, whether you want to have all the United 
States property represented by farmers? You have seen 
them in New York, in Connecticut, in Pennsylvania. By a 
protection to manufacturers you get a higher class into the 
country. Iron rails will cost somewhat more, but do you wish 
for that dull monotony of a nation of small landed proprie- 
tors ? Here, in Marj'land, if anyone does by chance accumu- 
late a little capital, his luxurj- is litigation, and it soon evapo- 
rates.' A propo8 to this I was told that if a Connecticut 
farmer sold off, and invested all his money at six per cent.,, 
his average income would be no more than 801, to 120Z. a 
year in English money. If so, they are below the average 
farmers with us, who, though not proprietors, are worth 
more. Mr. Jared Sparks told me, I think, that Philadelphia 
would have been the capital of the United States, vice Wash- 
ington, if the revolutionary soldiers in arrear of pay had not 
been alarming to the Legislature. 

Nothing astonishes me more in reading most books on the 
United States, and hearing people talk, than to see how they 
attributo to democracy and your institutions both the evil 
and the good which existed under the monarchy. If in 
deference to your judgment, or that of any other in whom I 
place equal reliance, I were to say nothing of these topics, I 
at least be able in conversation to talk with more 


effect on the United States affairs. So many people besides 
Sydney Smith have said that I ought to give them a book on 
what I saw and thought de omnibus rtbvs^ that the presumption 
of saying a little in the course of the journal on moral and 
political matters seems less than it did. But, on the other 
hand, I feel that I ought to have seen schools, and attended 
legislative assemblies, and so forth, and that I might say, 
what is the truth, that I avoided giving any time to collect 
facts and observations on these heads, and therefore feel that 
I am not entitled to speak on them. Meanwhile, I shall try 
my hand at the * Journal of a Natuiulist and Geologist,' and 
see how it promises. 

Believe me, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To the Bev. Db. Flemino. 

Kinnordy : October 17, 1842. 

My dear Dr. Fleming, — We returned after a delightful 
tour in the United States in August last, in nine days and a 
half from Halifax, after a month's tour in Nova Scotia. 

In all we were absent thirteen months, less than one of 
these being spent on the ocean, nearly ten in active geological 
field work, and a little more than two in cities, during which 
I gave by invitation some geological lectures to large and 
most patient audiences. 

We leave this for London on the 25th instant, but shall be 
here till then, and, my father and mother desire me to say, shall 
all be most happy to see you and Mrs. Fleming at Kinnordy, 
if on such short notice you will do us the friendly act of 
accepting the invitation. I shall then be able to tell you 
vivd voce what it would be in vain to attempt on a sheet of 
paper, of what I saw in the other world. 

I shall also have some news to tell you of the Balruddery 
lobster, alias cherubim.* Suppose the * blackberries ' which 
accompany it are the said lobster's eggs ? But I must not in- 
dulge in these matters, but pray you to come, and with my 
wife's regards, believe me, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

* This lobster was the crustacean Pterygotus, and the ' blackberries ' called 
Parka are believed to be its eggs. 

72 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxill. 


Kincordy, Kirriemuir : October 18, 1842. 

My dear Sedgwick, — As we so rarely have the privilege 
of seeing you now in town, as of old, I shall not trust to 
meeting you in November, though I hope we may, but write 
to ask some news of your proceedings and your health. We 
had a very good muster of working geologists in May last, 
at the anniversary of the Geological Association at Boston, 
and they have many excellent men, as both the Brothers 
Eogers, Hitchcock, Vanuxem, Hall, Emmons, Conrad, and 
others. I have brought home three dozen boxes of speci- 
mens, the fruits of nearly ten months' field work, and I shall 
open my budget in November, with a paper on the lake 
ridges, as they are called, and the elevated beaches of the 
Canadian lakes, with new facts obtained during a second 
survey of the Niagara district, and bearing on the recession 
of the Falls, and on the drift of the valley of the St. Law- 
rence. I shall afterwards have to open ground on the ter- 
tiary, cretaceous, coal, and older rocks. I was very glad that 
you joined my ftiend John Carrick Moore in Galloway, and 
we heard sundry reports of certain fair ladies having re- 
joiced in the bad weather, which kept the philosopher in- 
doors. So you see how these scientific news travel across 
the Atlantic. Your announcement of coal plants in the 
Bothliegendes at Whitehaven interested me much, and I 
should like to talk to you of the zoological fossils, if any, 
in the same beds. A lady sent us the important intelli- 
gence last week that Professor Sedgwick had found oi^nic 
remains in granite, which her reverend informant had told 
her was very satisfactory, as overturning all received 
geological theories respecting the antiquity of the earth. 
This story has perhaps some foundation, and you have really 
hit upon some novelty in the old rocks this summer? 
We are here till the 24th instant, and hope on the 28th 
to bo in Hart Street.^ at the old family mansion. Let us 
hoar from you there or see you. My father and other 
members of tlie family here desire to be remembered to 


jou, and with my wife's kind regards, believe me, my dear 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

P.S. — Eemember us to the Master of Trinity College 
when yon see him. 

To Sir Philip Egeeton, Babt. 

December 21, 1842. 

My dear Sir Philip, — We should have been very glad to 
pay you a visit, which we have really long looked forward to 
with pleasure, but must wait, and be a little stationary after 
such wanderings. To have examined the fish teeth with yon 
would have been most improving, and just what I want, but 
I must really work in my cabinet to subdue my great mass 
of arrears. Lord Enniskillen will tell you that on Wednes- 
day last I gave out nearly two hours of my American budget, 
and return to the charge next time, but I shall not open 
upon Big Bone Lick till after you are here. I send more 
than three hundred separate squaloids, but beg you will not 
bother yourself if you find the task tedious. I should be 
most glad if you would look at the Martha's Vineyard, marked 
* M. V.,' because I am clear for this formation being post- 
eocene, whereas the geologists over the water have been dis- 
puting whether it was cretaceous or eocene. Most of the 
teeth are lettered. 

Lonsdale writes in better spirits, and is collecting and 
observing the living polyparia. 

Ever most tmly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Wipe. 

Bristol ; August 13, 1843. 

My dearest Mary, — My journey answered very well, as I 
had my back to the engine, and therefore escaped the air in 
my face, and the weather was delightful. I had some in- 
telligent companions : one of them, a Bristol solicitor, told 
me that the twelve miles of rail from Bath to Bristol cost 

74 SJR CHARLES LYELL, chap, xxiii. 

80,000{. per mile, near a million sterling. It is a fine speci- 
men of Brunei's stylish way of engineering — such viaducts 
over the river and tunnels ! We went fifty miles an hour for 
several miles, and once for two miles more than fifty. Soon 
after my arrival I was with Mr. Stutchbury, seeing coal 
plants in the museum, then with him to Durdham Down, 
where the ^ Permian ' saurians ^ were found, &c., then home^ 
by the Hotwells, Clifton. Next day with Stutchbury to 
Bath on the rail, and then eight mHes south to Badstock 
coal-mines. Went down some hundred fathoms in an 
iron bucket, and spent five and a half hours underground,, 
going miles in coal galleries ; much delighted, as the mines 
were dry and in a good state — upright trees, roofs full of 
ferns, &c. 

T hope to meet Eamsay at Bath, and may catch your 
train at Bath, or more likely midway between Bath and 
Bristol. I am grateful to think my eyes are keeping well in 
spite of fossilising. 

With love to all of you, 

Your affectionate husband, 

Chables LY£LL. 

To His Sistee. 

Giant*s Causeway : September 4, 1843. 

My dear Marianne, — We have just returned from a walk 
over the grand pavement, the effect of which was as pic- 
turesque as the evening sun and some white breakers 
rolling and foaming over the black rocks could make it. 
Much as I have been pleased with the sight, it strikes me 
that there are parts of Staffa away Irom FingaPs cave, and 
which travellers have seldom leisure to visit, which are even 
finer in precisely the same style. 

The geology of Antrim is very interesting, so many 
formations, such as chalk, green sand, lias, new red, and tJie 
coal being each represented by such distinctly characterised 
and yet such thin sets of strata compared to the same groups 
elsewhere, and then the grand trap or basaltic mass covering 
and cutting through all. The people of this more northern 

^ These conglomerate beds and their remains are now considered at th& 
base of the new red sandstone. 


region, like the heather-covered hills, axe wonderfully more 
like the Scotch than those of the southern counties — ^less hand- 
some and to us less interesting. They are (I speak of the 
humbler classes only) not so foreign, but like Scotch who 
ought to be more thriving, who are content to be in raga 
when you perceive that their circumstances ought to make 
them above it. But we have been for the last two days very 
much among a Catholic set, and whether these are more 
degraded I know not. The begging continues in spite of 
great poor-houses, which, by the way, are far better in an 
architectural point of view than those in England. I think 
the sordid penury of the Irish which Von Baumer described 
must have been exaggerated, for he had only time to take a 
superficial view, as we do. All agree, however, that the 
habits of the people in regard to temperance have worked 
wonders even since Baumer's time. I have much more 
hopes of them after having seen the country. How fortunate 
are we that we have not a black slave population to turn into 
true and quiet subjects, instead of the quick, obliging, and 
fine-looking natives of this green island, properly so called, 
for the verdure is very remarkable ! I got a new light about 
repeal from Lord Bosse. The farmers in Connaught had 
become so annoyed at the exactions of the priests that a 
strong feeling of resistance was gaining ground, which would 
soon have spread, as the same spirit was manifested else- 
where, at Parsonstown for instance. O'Connell was able 
much more easily to get the priests to join in the repeal 
agitation, in order that by that greater excitement they 
might be led to forget the other grievance. This has 
answered for the time, but it shows that had Government 
paid the Catholic priests, as they do the Irish Presbyterians, 
the farmery would not have tolerated their Bomanist church 
dues, and the priests would have been forced to receive 
support from the State, and would then probably have been 
no longer rebellious. In short, until they are raised in the 
scale there is no hope of their flocks improving, all which I 
presume Sir B. Peel and the Duke have long known, but 
they would never have carried any measures. One cannot 
help fearing that the anti-English spirit has sunk deep into 
the hearts of the millions here, for they read nothing but 

76 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxiii. 

O'Connell's newspapers, from wliich lie artfully excludes, with- 
out appearing to them to do so, every other foreign or domestic 
topic of interest except repeal and Irish grievances, a great 
proportion of them now bygone. You will be glad to hear 
that even if the gigantic telescope of Lord Bosse should not 
succeed— of which, however, there seems no apprehension — 
the great one which we looked through has achieved grand 
results, not only reducing nebulae into clusters of distinct 
stars, but showing that many of the regular geometric figures 
in which they presented themselves to Herschel, when viewed 
with a glass of less power, disappear and become very much 
like parts of the Milky Way. Lord Rosse showed me a 
model which he had made of one of the mountains in the 
moon, which I thought not so much like a volcano as one of 
the largest atolls, its sides being externally so steep and 
lofty and its crater sixty miles in diameter ; but you must 
suppose the lagoon of enormous depth, and the ocean, of 
course, to be removed. During our call on the Archbishop 
of Dublin he said, among other things, that he thought that 
brutes used language for communicating ideas as we do, but 
never, like us, as an instrument of thought. We were much 
diverted with a story told us of one of his eccentric ways of 
taking exercise. He used to go to the seashore with Dr. 
Dickinson, the late Bishop of Meath, and they would go on 
for three hours together throwing up pebbles into the air, 
oach trying to hit the other's pebble. I have no doubt that 
Whately was sometimes speculating on the doctrine of 
chances, and calculating how many misses went to one hit ; 
but his chaplains were in several cases obliged to interfere, 
and succeeded in representing to him that some of his 
gymnastics were not in Dublin thought quite dignified 
enough in an archbishop. Our scientific meeting at Cork 
went ofiF pleasantly and very well as far as concerns the 
muster of scientific men, but the money received was not 
near half the usual sum, owing entirely to the gentry of the 
neighbourhood and county holding ofiF, except the Lord 
Lieutenant and a few others who had originally joined the 
town in inviting us. The reason of this was that the towns- 
people, comprising many rich merchants and most of the 
tradesmen, were repealers, and the agitation having occurred 


since we were invited, the opposite parties could never in 
Ireland act or pnll together. In addition to this, however, 
the gentry in Ireland, at least in the south, seem very much 
behind those in England in interest for any scientific 
matters. We are struck with the similarity of tiie common 
flowers and plants here to those of ^England, Scotland, and 
France. Certainly the naturalist has a great additional 
pleasure in touring through Canada or the United States in 
the surprising novelty of all the wild plants and animals. We 
had an amusing scene in starting from Limerick, the coach 
being already full, and a petitioner addressing the guard 
very eagerly with, * Will I come up ? that's the proposition/ 
To which the reply was, ^ Where can you sit? that's the 
query.' The other saying he would go on the baggage at 
the top, he was told to lie flat, or his head would be taken 
ofiT going under the arch, and by way of comfort he was 
asked, when in a great fright, if his life was insured. ^ No.* 
* So much the worse for your wife ! ' All this passed as quick 
as thought. We have seen many remarkable round towers, aa 
at Kildare, like the Brechin tower but taller : also many ruina 
of monasteries. The school-houses, often very neat, pretty 
buildings, put us in mind of the United States, and we are 
told that the Catholics and Protestants get on well together 
in these schools, and are each allowed tiieir own version of 
the Scriptures. 

Since I began this we have seen more of the Causeway in 
delightful weather, but I shall leave Mary to tell you of this* 
With love to all at Kinnordy, 

Believe me, your affectionate brother, 

Chakles Ltell* 

To John Cabbick Moobe, Esq., Cobswall, Stbanbaeb. 

Kinnordy : September 17, 1843. 

My dear Moore, — ^We made out our tour very success- 
fully, seeing the Ballantrae section, and going the old road by 
AUoway, so as to see the witches' bridge and the ruined church 
where they danced, and Burns' monument, and the cottage 
where he was born, and still just reached the five o'clock 
Glasgow railway train, so that we got a good long night'a 



rest before starting the next morning by six o'clock. We 
found the two parcels had come safe by the ^ Maid of Gallo- 
way,' and were already in the hotel. Had we not been firee 
of these incumbrances, and had not the cars ordered by yon 
been all ready, we could not have accomplished all this by 
five o'clock at Ayr. The geology at Ballantrae ' was quite 
what you had given me to expect — a small dike of serpen- 
tinous trap about one foot broad, and running magnetic N. 
and S., being the only fact which you seem to have missed. I 
certainly think the red sandstone is newer, as your white 
tind variously coloured sandstones of Sloughnagarry are 
older, than the conglomerate with fragments of graywacke. 
As to the said conglomerate and the red sandstone, we can 
say nothing more of its age. I saw ripple marks and casts 
of cracks, and perhaps fucoids (?) as you did. As to Crustacea 
I could not detect any good markings to confirm that idea. 
But I saw distinct rain drops. Study the recent ones on 
the shores of Lough By an in all states, after a short shower 
and a hard one, and after hail, and when half effaced by tide, 
&c. In short, that Lough is a grand magazine of geological 
analogies — tidal, littoral, conchological, sedimentary, &c. — 
which I envy you having at your door. My father saw here 
a splendid meteor, and other neighbours did at the same 
moment, as large as a man's head, more splendid than the 
moon, on Wednesday the 6th, at a quarter past eleven o'clock 
P.M. One person thought he saw it divide. The Milmans 
arrived here a few hours after us yesterday, all well, and in 
fine weather, their three sons with them. 

My wife joins in kind remembrances to your whole party, 
and we are glad to have finished our tour with the recollec- 
tion of so agreeable a visit. 

Pray tell Mrs. Moore they have had the good taste to put 
the sculptured Tam o'Shanter and Sutor Johnnie in an apart- 
ment separate fix)m the monument to Bums. 

Yours very sincerely, 

Chables LrELL. 

» On the coast of Ayrshire. 


To Sib Philip Eoebton, Babt. 

Kinnorcly, Kirriemuir, N.B. : September 22, 1843. 

My dear Sir Philip, — I was in hopes of learning from 
the Milmans, who have just left us after a visit of five days, 
in what part of the world you and Lady Egerton might be 
At present, whether to the north or south of us, but as I 
could get no intelligence I shall send this to Cheshire to be 
forwarded if you are in the Highlands. We are only a 
week returned from Ireland, having gone from Killamey 
to the Giant's Causeway after the Cork meeting, visited 
Lord Bosse on the way, and seen his telescope, besides see- 
ing other Msh friends. My Auvergne tour was also very 
successful, and I shall be glad to talk with you on the 
wonderfal collection of mammalia, of one hundred and sixty 
-five extinct species of all periods from the eocene to the 
pliocene, which the Abb6 Croizet and Bravard have disin« 
terred from the old fresh-water marks and the volcanic 
alluviums, &c., of all ages. But I have only time in this 
letter to beg you to let me know whether you shall be 
returning from the Highlands to the south before the first 
week of November, or going northwards from England, as 
in that case I should like to send you a special invitation 
from my father to stay here some days on your way. The 
only visit we have to pay is to Aberdeen, and I might 
regulate the time of that by your movements, if you would 
write immediately. We are enjoying delightfid summer 
weather here, after having had already two summers, one in 
France and one in Ireland. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Sister. 

December 7, 1843. 

My dear Marianne, — We went yesterday to Mr. Curtis, 
who named for me my N. American insects. The fire-fly is a 
Lampyrisj very like the Italian one which I saw in 1818 in 
the rice-fields near Padua. I am going to-day to visit poor 
Mantell, who is very ill. I am getting on very steadily with 

80 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxiik 

my geological travels in North America, and am particularly 
working at the fossils, which can only be done by getting 
the assistance of many others in different branches. Edward 
Forbes has helped me for my chalk fossils of New Jersey, and 
I have packed up some twenty packages of American corals, 
from different rocks, and sent them off by Lonsdale's invita- 
tion to Falmouth. Having seen in the United States that 
there was no one who understood the corals, and only two men 
in France, I willingly let these specimens run the risk of 
another 600 miles of travelling, though T wish my naturalist 
was nearer. To class and pack them was no small work for me 
and my new aid, young Sowerby ; 1 miss Hall * in a hundred 
little arrangements. Three Institutions at Manchester 
clubbed together, to invite me to give twelve lectures at each,, 
repeating the same. Mr. James Heywood was deputed to 
negotiate with me. I told him that, had my occupations per- 
mitted it, the average sum per lecture was about one-fifth of 
the fee for which alone I could think of lecturing anywhere, 
or had done so, in the last three years. The fact is that 
there, as everywhere in England, magnificent subscriptiona 
which might have endowed lectures equal to the Lowell 
Institute, have been all spent in building, and it is the same 
whether 60i. or 150,000^. are subscribed in this country ; 
and as in the case of the London University and King'a 
College here, the buildings, which cripple them with debt,, 
remain unfinished. If anyone should have the wisdom 
of Mr. Lowell, and forbid a farthing to be spent on buildings 
an institution with half the funds of the K. C. or L. U» 
would have the pick of all the first teachers, and leave the 
rest behind. 

Believe me, your affectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Geoege Ticknoe, Esq. 

London : December 27, 1843. 

My dear Mr. Ticknor, — ^We are reading Mr. Prescott's 
* Mexico * with great delight. I have not seen Milman's 

* His clerk, who had been eighteen years with him, and who died of con- 
sumption the previous month. 


review in the * Quarterly/ but he has been so much over- 
worked lately with parochial and other professional duties, 
by which his health has suffered, that I shall be relieved 
to find the review worthy of Milman and the subject; 
at least the reviewer was much pleased with his task. The 
parts on which Mr. Hallam, when he talked of it to me the 
other day, dwelt with high commendations, were the essays 
in the beginning, and the appendix on the Aztecs, the abori- 
gines, &c. Everybody seems to be reading it. I was much 
pleased with the comparison between the human sacrifices of 
the Spanish Inquisition and the MexicQ^n priests, and the 
justice done to Montezuma for not becoming an apostate. 
I am very much obliged to you for your information, and that 
sent by Mr. Sparks, and had I not been very busy in pre- 
paring for the Geological Society papers on the plumbago of 
Worcester and the green sand of New Jersey, I should have 
digested the matter you sen^ me, and read up to it by aid of 
your references. It strikes me that it may do good to 
remind our ultras here (who could forgive the Americans 
more easily for dispensing with a King than for doing with- 
out a church establishment) that in the monarchical times 
of the States all sects were, as now, on an equality. 

If I can state this broadly it would astonish many. It 
was new to me, and people are amazed when I tell them that 
now, in Nova Scotia, all sects are equal by the charter. 
What struck me was the advantage in a country open to 
colonisation of finding no other sect dominant, and one's 
own politically and socially inferior. 

It is not ungenteel to be a Baptist or Unitarian. One may 
know that the orthodox of other creeds believe that one has 
no hope of salvation in the next world, but one is not irritated 
by the thought of being despised and thought to hold a low 
position in this. But was there not once in some part of 
New England a general provision, afterwards abandoned, for 
all religious sects, a tax levied equally from all, and paid, as in 
France, to different religious communities, according to their 
numbers ? Was there nothing of this kind anywhere in the 
United States ? It is my beau ideal of a mezzo tei^viine between 
the Establishment and the voluntary system, and I believe 
we have lately begun this in Australia, but I must inquire. 


82 SJR CHARLES LYELL, chap, xxiii. 

More than half a million have lately seceded in Scotland from 
the Establishment, and as it is very possible that the leaders 
of the Catholics and Protestant dissenters may in some 
future election bury their religious animosities, and make 
common cause, the time may be nearer than some think when 
we shall have all sects endowed, which I trust will happen, 
instead of none being so. But, at all events, I abhor the 
political disaffection created in Ireland, Scotland, and 
England by the exclusive privileges of Church of England 

It is really the power which is oppressive here, and not 
the monarchy, nor the aristocracy. Perhaps I feel it too 
sensitively as a sciontific man, since our Puseyites have ex- 
cluded physical science from Oxford. They are wise in their 
generation. The abject deference to authority advocated 
conscientiously by them can never survive a sound philoso- 
phical education. 

Ever most faithfully yours, 

Chables Ltell. 



JANUABT, 1844 — DEOEMBEB, 1846. 


[In the autumn of 1844, a disastrous explosion took place at 
Haswell Colliery, Durham ; on which the Grovemment instituted an 
inquiry, and at the request of Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Lyell and Mr. 
Faraday went as Commissioners, and prepared a report on the causes 
of the accident. 

He attended the British Association at York this year, and in 
1845 he published his 'Travels in North America, with Geological 
Observations.' In September he returned to the United States, and 
had a still more extensive tour in the countries mentioned afterwards 
in his ' Second Visit,' some of the geological firuits of which have also 
appeared in separate scientific memoirs. He waa nine months ab- 
jsent from England, returning in Jime, 1846. He attended the British 
Association at Southampton, and in September moved to 11 Harley 
Street, after spending fourteen happy years in Hart Street, Blooms* 
bury, but his collections demanded more speice. 

TTia travels in 1847 were confined to England and Scotland, and 
he attended the British Association at Oxford. 

In 1848 he visited Southampton and other places in England, and 
went to Scotland. From Kinnordy he rode over the hills by Clova 
And Loch-na-gar to Balmoral, when he had the honour of being 
knighted by the Queen, in September.] 

o 2 

84 S/J^ CHARLES LYELL. chai-. xxiv. 

To George Ticenob, Esq. 

16 Hart Street, Bloomsbnry, London : January 7, 1844. 

My dear Mr. Ticknor, — I found your letter on our return 
from Cornwall. Tour information respecting the slaves, and 
your speculations, were most interesting to me. I had 
arrived at the notion, from reading Gurney's book on the 
West Indies, that in the most Southern states, and wherever 
rice and sugar are cultivated, the emancipated negro might 
stand the competition of the white labourer. 

But in all the higher parts, and many of the low grounds 
of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia which we 
saw, I should expect the free black to give place, like the 
Indian, before the white immigrant. 

You mention Massachusetts having refused magistrates 
and use of prisons to those who followed runaway slaves. I 
should have thought it good policy to give some indemnifica- 
tion in those cases, not the whole value perhaps, and to aim 
always at sharing the sacrifice required by humanity with 
the planters, and ultimately forcing the Central Government 
to incur a debt to set free one state and then another. Mr. 
Everett told me that black men did vote for the governor of 
Massachusetts. De Tocqueville says that the free blacks 
do not dare to vote. He also says that they die out much 
faster than slaves. If so, must it not be for want of an 
adequate poor-law system ? 

I thank you much for the admirable pamphlet ^ The 
State Debts,' which it is painful to read, and reminds me of 
the state of indignation which I was in at Naples, when 
associating with a set of proscribed literary and scientific 
men, who seemed to me very moderate in their political 
opinions, but who were so far in advance of their own 
countrymen and government as to be martyrs to their 

There was an absolute power over which they had no 
control, and which had no sympathies in common with them» 


I should do injustice no doubt to the legislature at Harrisburg 
were I to compare them to the corrupt government of Naples ; 
«till I could not help feeling that the men of finer intellects 
in Philadelphia were under the control of men of coarser 
clay, delegates of the Pennsylvanian rural population. On 
them I cannot help fearing that the manly and spirited and 
touching appeal of your friend will be thrown away, yet I 
hope most sincerely that I am mistaken. I had an argu- 
ment the other day with one of Lord Ashburton's suite (in 
1842) about the cause of repudiation, I attributing it to the 
ignorance of the lowest and most numerous class of voters, 
especially those newly arrived, or who do not advance with 
the rest, because of a different language, &c., he maintain- 
ing that it was simply the sharing of the shame among so 
many which alone prevents communities from dishonesty, 
and which no ministry or moderate-sized constituency could 
endure or brave. Surely it is not a question whether popular 
governments can be virtuous and honourable, but whether 
the democratic principle has not been carried out so far as to 
subject the educated to the uneducated, those who have in- 
dependence of fortune and leisure to those who have neither. 
Is it Utopian to try to raise the franchise and exclude those 
not bom in the United State<< ? When were settlers of five 
years' standing first admitted to vote? When that passed, they 
should all have been received into colleges and educated for 
the first five years, and not allowed to clear the forest, &c., 
till afterwards. 

As an admirer and well-wisher of the United States I 
look upon this particular breach of faith, with all the loss and 
misery occasioned by it on both sides of the water, as a 
trifiing matter compared to the symptoms of some inherent 
-disorder in the general constitution of the body politic. If the 
opinion of the more highly-educated, wealthier, and middle 
classes can have so little control, or act so tardidly on the 
vast majority below, an impolitic or absurd war, or some 
measure as serious as the disunion of the States, or any 
other mischief, might as readily occur, in direct opposition 
to the almost unanimous sense of those who, for the good of 
the whole, ought to govern. 

I am getting as prosy as if I were upon our Anti-Corn- 

86 Sl/a CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxiv. 

law League, or the Irish state trials. But I hope you will in- 
dulge me with a like ^ expectoration,' as a German scholar 
said to our great botanist Robert Brown, meaning that he 
should unbosom himself. 

Ever most sincerely yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Oeoboe Ticenob, Esq. 

London : April 2, 1844. 

My dear Mr. Ticknor, — Have you seen Godley's book ? 
He agrees so entirely with the opinions we formed on almost 
all points when his Catholic Church notions do not interfere,, 
that I am much pleased with the work. It is a great con- 
trast in its tone of feeling to the ordinary English portraits 
of America and the Americans, and even his Puseyism will 
be a bait to precisely that class of readers who from their 
anti-democratic, high church principles, are the most pre- 
judiced against the United States. 

I have heard some of this school say of late that there 
is one and one only redeeming point about the United States 
— the recent progress of the Episcopal Church. How far is 
it true that the German professorial system is almost uni- 
versal instead of our tutorial system, which, for my part, I 
think a very bad one in the universities, as it does not inspire 
the pupils nor the teacher with a love of what they learn or 
teach ? I hope it is true that the physical sciences have as 
large a share of attention in the United States colleges and 
schools as this thorough Oxonian complains of their en- 
joying. He says that the Americans will admit any sect to 
be Christian and Protestant which receives the Christian 
scriptures, and any doctrinal scheme which it thinks may be 
deduced therefrom, so long as it allows all others to be 
equally right who do the same; also, that the American 
mind has a natural repugnance to anything which affects an 
exclusive or dogmatic character. This is his heaviest charge 
against you. I wish I felt as sure as he does of its truth. 
One gi'eat evil which I complain of in our system of educa- 
tion, both in schools and colleges, is the monopoly of all pro- 
fessorial and tutorial places, masterships and usherships iu 


schools, &c., by the clergy. Their Catholic propensities have 
led them to seize upon professorships of astronomy (Armagh), 
geology (Cambridge and Oxford), botany (Cambridge), mine- 
ralogy (Oxford and Cambridge), natural philosophy (King's 
College, London), engineering (ditto), political economy 
(ditto, Prof. Jones), and I could give you a long list of others. 
In divinity, church history, Hebrew, and many others we would 
not grudge them exclusive possession, but the evil now is, 
that they not only regard the sciences they teach as subor- 
dinate to professional duties, but are liable, if eminent in 
science, to be rewarded by church preferment, and immedi- 
ately stopped in one career of usefulness. I was told of a 
college in Albany, I think, newly established on Oxford prin- 
ciples, in which all the teachers seem to be Episcopalian 
divines, and no physical science or natural history to be 
taught. We are struck with the fact that amongst the 
man J families we visited at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, 
and other places in south and west, altogether more than a 
hundred, not one was residing in a boarding-house, and yet 
this is represented as the American mode of living. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Geobge Ticenob, Esq. 

16 Hart Street, Bloomsbuiy, London : June 12, 1844. 

My dear Mr. Ticknor, — I have two of your letters before 
me unanswered, and we are just stepping into a steamer, 
which in forty hours is to carry us nearly five hundred miles 
northward, so I must thank you first for what you told me 
of your universities and toleration, on the excess of which 
Mr. Godley had been so eloquent. I was very glad to see by 
your letter to your French friend, which I read and for- 
warded immediately, that you had such hopes of the country, 
about which I am sufficiently sanguine myself, if time be 
allowed. For what is fifty years in the history of a nation, or 
any great experiment in politics, and the art of governing 
men under entirely new circumstances P If the institutions 
are in arrear of the point of civilisation, morals, and know- 
ledge to which the people have advanced, I doubt not that 

88 sm CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

thej will rally and put things right ; bnt as it is a costly 
machinery which requires such a stir as you are now making, 
in order to remedy abuses, I hope some improvements will be 
made to cheapen and simplify it, all which will come, and I 
hope in our time. Tonr pubUc men ought to be more 
upright and independent than ours, because, owing to the 
wider distribution of the means of living, and of education 
and other causes, people whom they govern are as a whole 
superior. If the constituencies or voters as a whole are not 
better than ours, this must be and will be in time improved, 
first by excluding foreigners, and then by a property test. I 
cannot imagine that universal suffrage can ever be good for 
any community, and where it is so easy to acquire some pro- 
perty, and implies such a want of industry to be penniless, 
it must be still less unjust than here to exclude all who are 
not tolerably well off. As the suffrage has undergone so 
many modifications, surely the idea of restricting it within 
less wide bounds is not Utopian. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Chables Bunbubt, Esq. 


My dear Bunbury, — I was very glad to hear from you, 
though I have not time to say half the things which your 
letter has set me thinking upon. When my friend Babbage 
heard you were upon fossil plants, he said it was a good 
thing, as in such cases * two and two made more than four,' 
and I hope together we shall strike out some improved view 
of the carboniferous era so far as relates to its chief feature, 
the flora of its strata. The identity of the Pteris aquilina 
with some impressions of coal plants so far as leaves are 
concerned was new to me, though to a superficial eye the 
f resemblance is striking. May we be led by this to doubt 

\i ^whether the European and American coal-ferns, which seem 

equally identical, may really have been distinct in species ? I 
think not. Some of the genera of shells and corals of the 
carboniferous period are the same as living ones, but not the 
species in any instance. The Virginian morasses allow, 
under a hot summer sun, great accumulations of black vege- 


table matter, nearly like peat, and which might make coal. 
The shade of Oupressvs diatichiy Thuya, and water-oaks, &c., 
shut out the son, and ferns and mosses grew in the damp air 
beneath, while the heat causes evaporation, and evaporation 
<K)ld. One swamp is forty miles long by twenty, which I 
«aw. Thousands of prostorate trees in the peat. I hold Ad. 
Brongniart's atmosphere of carbonic acid in the coal period to 
be apocryphal, and if you can relieve us from intense heat, 
80 much the better. The corals and shells of the then exist- 
ing seas in northern latitudes show a warm stat.e of things 
far from the line. 

Believe me, ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Charles Babbage, Esq. 

October 7, 1844. 

My dear Babbage, — Mr. Phillipps called here to-day, and 
told me he had felt at liberty to lay your letter before Sir 
Robert Feel, Sir James Graham not having come up ; and 
that Sir Robert had asked him, Mr. P., to go and ask 
me if I would go down with some chemist, Faraday, if pos- 
sible. I told him that I thought I should not carry down 
the sort of knowledge most appropriate ; that a lawyer, or one 
like you, of general scientific knowledge, and special in 
mechanical affairs, and to whom he. P., had first applied, 
would be better. He replied that Sir B., having seen me 
mentioned in your letter as being in town, and thinking that 
a geologist who had had to do with coal-mines would, com- 
bined with a chemist, do best for them, had asked him to 
invite me. I said I was very busy with my American book. 
He, P., said * it would be fully as inconvenient or worse for 
Mr. Babbage just now, as he assured me.' I said, ^ A coal- 
Tiewer and Faraday would do better.' He replied, * No ; the 
Government will empower you in your credentials to employ 
any coal surveyor you like, but they want scientific men 
known in your and Mr. Faraday's line to be there.' I accor- 
dingly agreed, and Faraday has done so too, as I hear from 
Phillipps since. I observe that in all the Parliamentary 
reports of * children in collieries,' * accidents in collieries,' &c.. 

90 S/J^ CHARLES LYELL, chap, xxiv, 

1835 and 1841, the geology of the district and position of 
the coal seams is laid down with minuteness, maps and 
sections. I therefore perceive that there is a geological side 
to the commission, and if I get knowledge or credit I have 
to thank your letter for it, and only regret we do not go 
together. I hope still to be back so as to see you, if dis- 
engaged, with Sir David Brewster on Sunday evening next^ 
when, at all events, my wife will be at home. I hope 
Fhillipps will write to you, as he said he should, about our 
long conference, and acknowledgments for your prompt aid 
to the Government. 

Sincerely yours, 

Charles Ltfll. 

To SiE Philip Egeeton. 

16 Hart Street, Bloomsbory : October 22, 1844. 

My dear Sir Philip, — I should have answered your kind 
letter sooner if I had not been very unexpectedly, and just 
when I thought I was settled in for the winter, and at my 
American book, induced by a direct invitation from Sir R. 
Peel to go with Faraday and attend the Haswell inquest, 
and see into the cause of the accident and suggest a remedy 
in future. We have only just drawn up our report to Sir J. 
Graham, in which the geology is a small part, the chemistiy 
a large, and if I mistake not, a most valuable one, practi- 
cally speaking. 

I am very much obliged to you for offering to compare 
the fish, and will send them soon, and wish my engagements 
would have allowed of our accompanying them, but I regret 
to say this is not the case. 

I shall write again soon, when I send the fish, and repl^ 

to you a little more fiilly. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

i84S- AGASSIZ. 91 

To George Ticknor, Esq. 

fx>ndon : March 1, 1845. 

Mj dear Mr. Ticknor, — ^I am trying to negotiate with 
Mr. Lowell for a course of lectures from the celebrated 
Agassiz, the ichthyologist and Swiss naturalist and writer on 
glaciers, for 1845-46, but, perhaps, all are filled up. Ch. 
Buonaparte, Prince of Canino, has offered to take him to the 
United States, as he visits it with his son this year. I am 
sure Mr. Lowell will do it if he can, as I have answered for 
his English being passable. You will be much pleased with 
Agassiz, and his visit will be most useful, as it always is to 
us when he comes here. The British Association has thrice 
voted him sums of money to describe our fossils. 

The marriage of Ward, the Oxford Puseyite martyr, is 
delightful, as illustrating their Bomanist zeal for the celibacy 
of the clergy. Milmau wonders if he will sign the marriage 
articles, as well as the thirty-nine, in a ^ non-natural ' sense, 
and has always maintained that the ladies and the rich 
endowments of the Anglican Church will keep the majority 
from Some. He was joking in this way with an intimate 
Puseyite friend, a very thin man, Mr. Manning, the other 
day, and said how fortunate it was there were so many sleek 
incumbents of livings, and looking at Manning, he said : 

Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look, 

He thinks too much — such men are dangerou.^. 

Believe me, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Leonabd Hobneb, Esq. 

Kinnordy : July 27, 1846. 

My dear Horner, — I was vexed to hear you had so much 
work thrown on you at the Geological Society. I regret it 
the more as I am much struck with the value of the first and 
second numbers of the Journal, and wish it was generally 
known how much we owe them to you. But next year the 
machine will work better. I forgot to thank you for having 

S2 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

sent tlie * Spectator,' the first critique I saw.* I mean to 
send them to Mr. Ticknor, or take them to him, because 
they all show how willingly oar press welcomes anything 
favourable to the United States, though I suppose some of 
the bitter anti- American magazines will act otherwise. 

Blanco White's book keeps up its interest to me, and 
certainly it should teach every scientific man to modify his 
opinions, and never to contend for doctrines, because he may 
have once favoured them, as soon as new discoveries, facts, 
and reasonings, require their modification or abandonment. 
The little suffering or annoyance that he, or his self-love, 
have to endure, is so insignificant in amount in comparison 
to the penalty which the theological professor must pay for 
relinquishing a little of any one of the numerous dogmas or 
forms of interpreting scripture, which he has pledged himself 
to adopt for life, that he must feel ashamed if he hesitates 
for a moment to recant, after reading the confessions of 
Saint Blanco the Martyr. For the sake of this moral, which 
I hope many a philosopher will draw from it, I am glad that 
all his sufferings are given in full length. 

Dr. Falconer showed me the Dinotherium tooth from 
Perrin Island, just like one I saw from the marine /aZurw of 
Touraine, and confirming me in the view I had previously 
expressed and printed in the Asiatic Society's proceedings, 
that the formation was Miocene. 

Tours affectionately, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Chables Bunbuby, Esq. 

Kinnordy ; July 28, 1846. 

My dear Bunbury, — I have been re-reading your letter to 
me on fossil botany with no small interest, as well as your 
excellent abstracts of Ad. Brongniart on SigillarUiy Stigmaria, 
Ac. Now, pray give me the benefit of your last ideas on the 
climate of the carboniferous period, as deduced from the 
plants, and refer to the last edition of my * Principles ' about 
the minimum of light, and criticise this. The near resem- 

■ On hia travels in North America. 


blance of the pteroid ferns is, as you say, a warning not to 
assume extraordinary heat, and you ask if in old formations 
we find some genera of animals very like living ones, mixed 
with very anomalous and unknown forms. Certainly we do^ 
In regard to shells we have carboniferous Orthocerata, with 
nucula and many other shells very like living ones, and I 
might accumulate cases in other classes, so here the flora 
and fauna yield analogous results. In one letter you allude 
to the idea of a continuation of Lindley and Button's * Fossil 
Flora,' but probably you will think better of the plan, and 
either give us first a carboniferous fossil flora, to be followed, 
as circumstances may lead you, by other floras, or some other 
independent work. The fact is, that the science will have 
got so far beyond the point where Lindley left oflF, that even 
in treating to an English reader of the very species and 
genera which Lindley spoke of, you would be able to write 
articles suflSciently original, and if you give your time gratis, 
and do not make money, or very little by such a work, you 
would do wrong, both for your own sake and that of science, 
not to have a work quite distinct from any other, and with- 
out any associate, for there is great disadvantage in joint 
authorships, partly because no one knows who is answerable. 
To make your knowledge useful your name must acquire 
authority, so that independently of laudable ambition, you 
should take care to get known by the title of the book. 
Probably a ^ British Carboniferous Flora,' like Owen's ^ Mam- 
malia,' would sell best, and whatever foreign knowledge you 
obtained of American, or other carboniferous plants, would 
still tell upon it. I would not have you delay more than a 
year from this time in organising some plan. I persuaded 
Owen to change Irom monthly to every two months, which 
he rejoices in, but the frequent coming out of new parts 
keeps the public interest alive, and leave of absence for a 
foreign tour can be obtained by getting a few parts ahead. 
With love to all, ever aflFectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

94 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

To Geobge Ticenor, Esq. 

Klnnordy, Kiiriemuir, N.B. : August, 1845. 

My dear Mr. Ticknor, — ^I have been finishing the auto- 
biography of St. Blanco the Martyr. I wish he had said 
more about Ferdinand and Isabella. You remember my 
argument with you, that our friend (Prescott) would have 
done well if he had pointed the moral differently, or more 
strongly, to show how the result of the energy and talents 
of his heroine, considered as a monarch, was to place the 
force of an established monarchy and a great standing army 
at the command of that new church ipquisition, which was 
to crush the free spirit both in political and ecclesiastical 
matters of Aragon. In short, her superstition, combined 
with her virtues, was laying the foundation of the fdture 
degradation of her country. The historian might have liked 
the woman more, for trusting with so much faith to her 
father confessor, and yet dwelt with pain on the degree in 
which it unfitted her most fatally to be the founder of the 
political constitution of a great country. 

I told you what I had heard of certain letters in Blanco 
White's biography. I admired fchose of Channing very much ; 
and that concluding passage, vol. iii., p. 312, where he com- 
pares the undertone of truth, in spite of the occasional false* 
ness of particular views, to that general solemn roar of the 
sea which is quite distinct from the dashing of the separate 
waves, is as just and well applied as it is poetic. Mr. Norton's 
letters also are excellent, and the whole work is painfully 

Remember me most kindly to Mrs. Ticknor and your 

Believe me, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Sisteb. 

Off Trepassey Kay, Newfoundland : September 16, 1846. 

My dear Marianne, — Here we are within three and a 
half miles of the coast of Newfoundland, which, although it 
lies in a direct line to Halifax from Cape Clear, we did not 

1845. ICEBERGS. 95 

approach in the * Acadia * in 1 841. The first three days after 
taking leave of Mr. Homer at Liverpool, from which we 
Bailed on September 4, we had delightful weather and fair 
wind, making, tliongh heavy with our full freight of coal, 220 
to 240 miles a day. Then came our adverse winds and two 
regular equinoctial gales, which I am glad now they are over 
to have seen, but they made us both ill. Yet I have had 
much pleasant and instructive conversation with Mr. Everett, 
also with Mr. Ward, the American agent of the Barings' 
house in Boston, well acquainted with all United States 
affairs. The first equinoctial lasted twelve hours, the second 
on the 14th, when we were nearing the Great Bank, lasted 
twenty-three hours, and part of the time a perfect hurricane. 
But the engineer never missed a stroke, and they have a 
very full and well-disciplined crew. 

When we were near the Great Bank, and the day before 
our grand gale, we saw an iceberg 200 feet high eight 
miles south of us. It was too far off to be a distinct object 
to my eye, though white and visible with a gla-ss. They are 
very rare this month. This was the day before our heavy 
squall, and when the wind struck us in the night we thought 
we were running against an iceberg. 

Your affectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Sisteb. 

Portland, Maine, U.S. A. : September 27, 1845. 

My dear Marianne, — We have just returned from a visit 
to two of the most eminent medical men of this town, the 
largest in Maine, 15,000 inhabitants. Dr. Mighels showed 
us a fine collection of recent American shells, and some 
fossils, from a formation which interests me, as being a con- 
tinuation of that of which I have spoken so much in my 
travels in Canada, which appears here under some new 
aspects. It is the old IJddevalla affair, with recent Arctic 
shells ; but I was pleased at recognising among the novelties 
the tusk of a walrus, which my discovery of one in Martha'p 
Vineyard, figured in my book, enabled me to make out. We 
little dreamt when we lefb Boston that we should go full 

96 S/JR CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxiv. 

200 miles in a north-easterly direction to Augusta, in Maine^ 
to whicli I was taken by Squire Allen, as our driver termed 
the lawyer who was our host. I went to the State house, a 
handsome building of granite, and saw their collection, made 
during the geological survey, I was introduced to the 
Grovemor of the State, and when you think of * those wild 
people of Maine,' of whom Lord Falmerston spoke in those 
terms during the border feud (an express ionthey will never 
forget), and learn that this chief magistrate, a Unitarian, has 
been re-elected several successive years by the democratic 
party, you might imagine that no great satisfaction was to be 
derived from the interview ; but I found him a quiet, sensible, 
well-mannered man, who told me he was very desirous 
to resume the geological survey, which the legislature had 
suspended from economical grounds, and he drew from me 
all the utilitarian arguments he could which my travels in 
the States could furnish, in enabling him to talk over the 
party who might be averse to the outlay. He was once a 
Senator at Washington. One of their late governors was a 
Roman Catholic, — a proof that these New Englanders do 
not mix up religion with their political divisions. 

We have now been in all the six New England states. 
The constitution of Maine is singularly democratic, mem- 
bers of both houses being elected by universal suffrage, and 
re-elected annually, and precisely the same qualifications in 
both for the electors and the elected. The judges, however, 
are appointed by the governor and council ; the extreme in 
some states is where they are elective. I asked Mr. Allen 
whether Mr. Gardiner (a rich relation, and one of the most 
cultivated men in the country, who lives in a handsome house 
in a park in the English style) had ever been in the legis- 
lature or political life. He answered, * Oh, no ; his landed 
property is much too large : besides that, he derives much 
wealth from other sources.' I remarked that in Massa- 
chusetts I had understood that the reason the electors 
objected to rich men was that they were inaccessible to 
them, too much above them, could not be troubled to listen 
to all their wants. He answered that this motive really 
operated strongly, for in regard to envy and jealousy, they 
often felt that as keenly or more so, when they made one of 


their equals their representative. Lately, in choosing 
railway directors at Portland, they objected to the first 
list because they were too rich and aristx)cratic, and the 
numerous petty shareholders wanted to confer with them 
on equal and familiar terms. Mr. Allen admits that the ex- 
tent to which the democratic spirit throughout the United 
States succeeds in making wealth a disqualification for 
political influence is annoyijig to many of the richer 
citizens, but he says that their rights and property are per- 
fectly safe, and all the interests in the country were never so 
flouiishing as at this moment. After all, I suspect that 
property, especially land, governs here as elsewhere, but 
ninety-nine hundredths of the land is divided into a countless 
number of small fractions, and the large proprietors, who 
own the remaining hundredth, may very naturally go for no- 
thing in the balance. That the acquisition of large estates 
and fortunes has had the same charm as with us, appears 
irom the eagerness with which they toil to obtain them. A 
grand railway is planned from this town (Portland) to Mon- 
treal, and they hope to get the English steamers to land 
here, where there is a very fine harbour, and will shorten 
the road to the British provinces very much. It would be 
natural, too, that the English mail and passengers should 
land here, and go 110 miles by railroad to Boston by a rail 
which carried us at the rate of thirty miles an hour, instead 
of having so much more sea. All the money, more than 
two millions sterling, is subscribed, and the road surveyed 
and the Acts passed both in Cauiada and Maine. The 
Kennebec is navigable for some forty miles from its mouth 
to Augusta, to which the tide goes up. At Bath we saw 
numerous ships building, destined to carry cotton from the 
Southern States to England. Streets of new houses rising 
there, as at Gardiner, Hallowell, and Augusta. New large 
cotton factories with steam-mills in progress at all these 
places, new saw-mills for the timber which is floated down 
the river in rafts, three or four huge steamboats carrying 
300 to 400 passengers each going up and down, brigs and 
schooners laden with hay for Alabama and Louisiana, that 
the horses in New Orleans and Mobile may enjoy the sweet 
herbage of Maine, so much better for them than the rank 

VOL. u. H 

98 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

grass of the rich soil of the western prairies. They are to 
return with cotton in exchange for the hay. What an 
advantage to have all this free trade between such distant 
regions in the same country ! On our way here we passed 
the Wenham Pond, or rather lake, for it is nine miles 
round, with its pure sandy bottom and fed by clear springs 
which when frozen over in winter yields the ice sent to 
London. And now, dearest Mamy, I must finish, and before 
starting for the White Mountains, which they say are already 
tipped with snow, I will put this into the post at once, 
though my tale is half told, especially our Portsmouth visit 
to Mr. Hayes, who drove me in a gig through some green 
lanes in a delightful forest where the Colens were swarming. 
Under the trees a kind of gale smelling like our bog myrtle 
{Myrica cerifera) was abundant, and a beautiful Oerrardia 
quite new to me. We collected fossils in this wood. But I 
must end, with our love to all, and hopes to receive good 
news at Albany. 

Ever your affectionate brother, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Leonard Horner, Esq. 

Hopetown, near Darien, Georgia: January 9, 1846. 

My dear Horner, — I have been visiting the site of three 
Megatheriums near Savannah, and the places where four or 
five others, some entire skeletons, were dug up here. I can 
prove them by their position relatively to beds of marine 
shells, to be a shade more modem than the elephant and 
rhinoceros of the valley of the Thames. They co-existed 
here with our Elephaa primigeniusy the American Mastodon, 
&c. The modern or Post Pliocene series of changes before 
and after the Megatherium in this low country are very 
interesting. Tell Darwin I have quite a counterpart to his 
Patagonian steps, or successive cliffs cut out of the Tertiary. 
The botany here, in spite of the season, which is now free 
at last from frost, and sunshiny, is very striking. The 
three palmettos — CliamcBrops one of them — a tree actually 
forty feet high at Savannah, and having all the aspect of a 
palm tree— are very abundant. The tall cabbage palm in 


the seaboard islands, requiring the salt sea-air, the saw 
palmetto abounding under the long-leaved pines, and blue 
palmetto in the clay swamps. There is a common bay that 
grows very high, Laurus Caroliniensisy with large leaves, 
having the odour of our bog myrtle. Magnolias in abun- 
dance, and three kinds of holly with red berries. Nothing 
has pleased me more than to witness the improvement that 
is going on in the condition and education of the slaves, 
both in the rice plantations and in the small farms, Sunday 
Schools being general, oral instruction, though reading 
feared, lest they get hold of exciting pamphlets. Many, 
however, do learn to read, and receive presents of Bibles, &c., 
from their masters. I have seen a large steam engine 
which has been entirely trusted for fifteen years to a 
thorough black ; all the carpenters here, blacksmiths, &c., 
are Africans or mulattos. Their masters talk to them as 
much as we should to Irish labourers, and they of the 
new generation of blacks calling themselves country bom, 
feel and talk of their superiority to the preceding genera- 
tion their parents, whom they style Africaniansy as the 
young Irish educated in the schools at Boston feel towards 
their unlettered emigrant sires. Their labour is calcu- 
lated for eight hours in all the rice, cotton, and sugar 
plantations about here. They often finish it in seven or 
less, and it is frequently all over by two o'clock, or twelve or 
even eleven in the day, after which they usu»lly take some 
hours' sleep, because it is their pleasure to sit up half the 
night, gossiping, singing, or listening to some favourite black 
Baptist preacher. I am convinced that people are too apt 
to forget the very low platform of civilisation from which 
the African starts. One-fourth of the five hundred negroes 
now collected round this house were bom in Africa, and to 
bring them up, or elevate them to the grade of the lowest 
Irish, is a step far beyond turning the said Irish into the 
average American labourer's standard. When I see how 
much has been done in so short a time I begin to be more 
hopeful than in my last tour, for unless the fanatical party 
of the North force on a collision, the next generation will be 
just as much beyond the blacks we see as they are above 
the Africans, and the treatment of them is necessarily regu* 


100 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

lated by the position and intellectual and moral condition 
to whicli they have attained. It is too large a subject to 
enter now upon, but I am glad to find in the South, slave- 
holders who will speak out npon all the worst evils of the 
system and who are convinced that it must wear out, though 
it would have done so much faster if the course of improve- 
ment had not been arrested by interference and insults 
which have hurt the temper of many Southerners. Were it 
not for this unfortunate question, the free-trade feelings 
of these Southern States would be so strong towards Eng* 
land, that a war would be impossible. They have no love 
for the Northern ultra democracy, to which they ally them- 
selves merely for protection against an apprehended inter- 
ference for some scheme of speedy emancipation for which 
the blacks are not prepared ; because the race cannot yet 
be reckoned upon for habits of continuous labour, which 
every savage, and his immediate descendants, has so great a 
repugnance to. The Northerners would not believe how 
attached many families here are to their negroes, and how 
it prevents them selling estates, when to do so would be 
both for their interests and tastes. I have looked into the 
.statistics of crimes and punishments on this estate for 
thirty years, and wish that an average English parish could 
return as favourable results. Besides being clothed and 
very well fed, they are by nature most peaceful, so that they 
hardly ever fight, and the contrast of some Irish labourers 
who came here to dig a canal (to which, by the way, we owe 
the discovery of the Megatherium), would really be laughable 
if it were not such a serious evil. Mr. Hamilton Couper has 
written for the * Geological Journal ' from the beginnijig, and 
will be a subscriber for Ufe. Others here will gradually 
come in, but it must be the work of time. 

Believe me, my dear Homer, with love to all, ever your 
affectionate son-in-law, 

Chables Lyell. 

• • • 

• • • 

I&45- SLAVERY. ••;;•' 101 

• • 

To His Fathee, 


New Orleans : Februarjr^^ 1846. 

• * 

My dear Father, — I have just been sending offifa -long 
letter, or paper, on the geology of Alabama, to the President, 
to read to the Geological Society. "•". y , 

I had to rough it a good deal in Alabama, but was wrilJ- . 
rewarded, both by the Coal-region and the Tertiary, I am-'--- 
now entering upon a new field, the great valley, I find ' -. 
everywhere much encouragement in the way of fellow- 
labourers, most of whom have either been educated in the 
more northern universities, or have migrated from the New 
Ecgland States on account of weak lungs. The unsettled 
migratory disposition of the inhabitants of a new country is 
quite curious. You meet with men, who with their wives 
have lived twenty years on one farm — improved it, grown 
rich on it, created it out of the wilderness, men without 
children, who are going to Texas, They have never gone 
first to see the promised land. If you enquire where shall 
you settle in that vast country, they reply, I shall go with 
my wife and negroes to Houston or Nachitochus, and then 
look out. * Who never is, but always to be blest,' should be 
the motto of such landowners. I have seen nothing to alter 
my views of the condition of the slaves. If emancipated, 
they will sufifer very much more than they will gain. They 
have separate houses, give parties, at which turkeys and all 
sorts of cakes are served up. They marry far more than our 
servants — eat pork— the women exempted from work a full 
month after childbirth, corporal punishment excessively ' 
rare ; they do so much less bodily work than the whites in 
the North, that the Southern planters will not believe in the 
stories of the former. The other day an Alabama brick- 
layer returned from a New England apprenticeship and re- 
ported at Tuscaloosa that he had earned two and a half dollars 
a day by laying 8,000 bricks daily. As the strongest negi*oes 
are only required to lay 1,000, it appeared to the planter 

Ever, in haste, your affectionate son, 

Chables Lyell. 

• ■ 

• • • 

102 XV :$•//? CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 


• •• 

To Leonard Hobker, Esq. 


Philadelphia : April 27, 1846. 
• • • 

•..My clear Homer, — The news whicli we received yesterday 
Ijave'gi^ren ns so much grief on dear Harry's ^ account, and 
•*.tffeel so miserably our distance from him (which would be 
•/•is great, however, if we were in Europe instead of here), that 
V-^..' I have had great diflBculty to-day to fix my thoughts on any- 
:*•/.'• thing. I had some thoughts before my arrival here, to draw 
up a paper on what I learnt and observed of the important 
geological question respecting the proofs alleged to have 
teen found of the existence of mammalia, birds, and rep- 
tiles in the Pennsylvanian Coal Field. But I cannot do this 
now, and until I have in town the slabs of sandstone which 
are on their way, and have had more time to make sections 
and maps, I cannot do the subject justice. Meanwhile, I 
shall not be sorry to give the Geological Society the news in 
any way you please. In a few words, I have satisfied myself 
that Dr. King is right in believing that he has discovered in 
the middle of the coal formation, the foot tracks of a large 
reptilian quadruped or animal allied to the Cheirotherium. 
These occur in one locality, and no others have yet been 
found in the same i^hjiQ^ nor under similar circumstances 
elsewhere. The locality, which I visited, of the supposed 
bird tracks is simply a ledge of white coal-grit or sandstone, 
sculptured by the Indians, who have, I doubt not, intended 
to represent dogs (or wolves), birds, and other animals. Dr. 
King was a beginner in geology when he first found, and to 
his credit appreciated duly, the importance of the Cheirothe- 
rium tracks. He is a man of thirty years of age, and in an 
extensive medical practice, who has suffered some persecu- 
tion, professionally and socially, for believing the world to be 
more than 6,000 years old, and avowing this at a Lyceum. 
He has been held up as an infidel by the President of a 
Catholic College, by some German Calvinists, &c. I have 
met with other proofs of similar illiberality from persons of 

* His brother, Captain Henry Lj'ell, ' wounded severely ' at the battle of 

1846. CHEIROTHERIUi\f, 108 

all sects, lay and clerical, in the United States, where the 
subject is much in the same state as in Europe. 

The Cheirotherium tracks occur in pairs, each pair con- 
sisting of a hind and fore foot. There are two rows of these 
which are parallel, or have been formed the one by the right 
fore and hind feet, the other by the left, the toes turning 
one set to the right and the other to the left, and the dis- 
tance between the successive footsteps being about the same 

Few geologists will now be prepared to believe that this 
single species or genus of reptile, or that one class only of 
vertebrated animal, had possession of the islands and conti- 
nents on which so widely extended and magnificent a vege- 
tation flourished. 

Tell Dr. Falconer to look out for some splendid teeth of 
Texas elephants which are going from New Orleans to 
London for sale. 

Believe me, ever your affectionate son-in-law, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His SiSTEB. 

' Steamship ' BritaDnia': June 11, 1846. 

Dearest Carry, — The Captain declares we were at least 
three ships' length off the great iceberg which appeared 
suddenly out of the fog in the night of Friday, June 8. As 
we were going at the rate of ten miles an hour, the moon 
obscured by clouds and a thick fog, you may believe that 
Captain Elliot as a naval man, and better able than the rest 
of us to estimate the danger, was not a little excited at what 
he considers the rashness and inexcusable folly of not slack- 
ing the ship's speed. All these mails run on in this way, 
and will do it till the Admiralty interferes. Going three or 
four knots they could always turn in time for their broad- 
side to hit the ice, and only receive a moderate bumping. 
As we passed fifty bergs or more in daylight, the Captain 
(one of the most cautious of the whole set) does not doubt 
that we were within pistol-shot of many which were not 
seen in the fog. They keep a bright look out^ officers and 

* Bet urn voyage from America. 

104 SJJ^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

men, and are aware of the risk. But what folly, when they 
would only lose six hoars of the night at most ! One iceberg, 
almost the only one before dark which came close to us when 
I was below, had a large rock twelve feet square on the top, 
and much gi*avel and dark sand on its side. They were from 
50 to 400 feet in height; pyramidal, pinnacled, dome- 
shaped, single-peaked, double-peaked, flat-topped, and of 
every form and most picturesque, and only a quarter of a mile 
off us, and numbers more distant. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To SiE Philip Egeeton. 

11 Harley Street, London : September 26, 1846. 

My dear Sir Philip, — I am very glad to know that Agassiz 
has really sailed at last, and when I knew of the ^ Great 
Britain ' going ashore, I could not help rejoicing that I re- 
fused him even the three or four days' grace he prayed so 
hard for in Southampton. The work he did when with you 
was really gigantic. All the while he was looking over the 
Connecticut fish you had named, he exclaimed how rejoiced 
he was to see you had named and separated them as he 
would have done, and that *you will have in England while 
T am away, one to whom you may safely refer.' Of the 
homocercal (lias?) fish, I have duplicates, of which you 
may depend on having the first sight and pickings. C. 
Bunbury is drawing up an account of the accompanying 
fossil plants (oolitic forms) like those of the Whitby (oolite) 
coal in Yorkshire. I hope to get a description of the single 
species of fish from you, the only perfect one, and anything 
thai; you may have to say of his associate, the Tetragonolepis, 
of which unfortunately there are only scales in patches. 

As to the Durham (Connecticut) fish which you examined, 
they have no plants associated, but I am very much in- 
terested to hear from Agassiz that the fish resemble most 
nearly those of Auiun^ a place I visited in 1843, and got 
some plants (psarrolites and ferns) and some few fish, rather 
tine ones though few, which I will show you. Now I begin 
most strongly to suspect that the fish called Paleonisci, but 

1846. FOSSIL FISH. 105 

which Agassiz agrees with yon in thinking not of that genus, 
belong to a formation almost as old as the coal, if not upper 
coal measures, whereas the Bichmond coal plants and fish 
are triassic. This will be the more interesting as you re- 
member the bird's footsteps of Hitchcock belong to the same 
period as the so-called Faleouisci and Catopteri, By the way, 
I have a duplicate copy of Hitchcock's * Geology of Massa- 
chusetts,' 2 vols., 4to., with plates of the bird's footsteps, 
which I could give you if you have room for the same in 
your library. 

Believe me ever very truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

London : October 9, 1846. 

My dear Horner, — I mean to refer to your last anni- 
versary address in my sixth chapter of * Principles,' for the 
best resumS of the present state of the facts and theory of 
the coal. I shall send you copies of letters which I am 
writing to E. Forbes and Bamsay on their excellent papers. 
I think E. Forbes's reply to you about not citing my climatal 
theory suflBcient. But as I claim to have first in my * Prin- 
ciples ' laid down the foundations of explaining the difficulties 
experienced in reconciling the doctrine of specific centres 
with the apparent anomalous position of many living plants 
and animals, viz. by showing that since the existing species 
came into being the land and sea had so changed, chains of 
islands disappeared, shallow seas turned into land, or into 
deep seas, this might naturally or ought to have been 
adverted to. Still more, my proofs referred to by Owen, in 
his Introduction, of the isthmus which in the Miocene 
period joined Dover and Calais. But do not suppose I 
am going to enact the character of the * injured man.' I am 
in great good humour with E. Forbes's beautiful paper, and 
even his numerous citations of me, though he has missed my 
two most important claims, which I shall be glad of the 
President of the Geological Society setting right, and so 
will Forbes himself. I am very desirous of reading the 
Eichmond papers when you are in the chair. What I learnt 

106 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

of the fish from Agassiz will add to its importance verj 
mucli — it is oolitic coal — but I have also learnt and shall 
treat of it in the same paper, that my fine collection of so- 
called New Red or Connecticut fish, are not oolitic, but much 
older, and they throw new light on the age of the bird's 
footsteps, if not of the true carboniferous reptilian. But 
I write enigmas, as I cannot enter into details. 

Ever your affectionate 

Chables Lyell. 

To Edward Fosses, Esq. 

11 Harley Street: October 14, 1846. 

My dear Forbes, — I have been reading your beautiful 
essay on the glacial epoch, and the origin of the existing 
fauna and flora of Great Britain, with the highest interest 
and pleasure, and think it one of the most original treatises, 
and so far as I have yet studied it (for I mean to read it 
again), one of the soimdest as well as boldest that I have 
ever had the pleasure of perusing. Among many views 
which I never ventured to promulgate, from want of suf- 
ficient knowledge of the Mediterranean and British mollusca 
now living, but what I had nevertheless more than suspected 
from what I knew, was the probable contemporaneousness 
of the newest Sicilian Pliocene, and the drift ; as I thought 
some of the northern species which were in the Sicilian bed 
indicated a chill in the sea there, though no erratics had 
reached so far. I am very glad to see you come out with 
that, and many other novelties which I am sure are new. 
Homer, I find, had remarked to you, before I had read a 
word of your paper, that he should have liked you to have 
made more references to my * Principles of Geology.' I am 
not aware that they are mentioned, though you have cited 
me for many other papers most fully. I am perfectly aware 
that there is no one who is in the habit of doing more 
justice to any claim I may have in our science than yourself, 
and therefore I attribute to mere accident any omission you 
may have made in citing me, especially as I have no doubt 
you think the publicity of a work which has gone through 
six editions is enough to satisfy any man^ and supersede 


tedious historical details. I may, however, mention on this 
head, that on the Continent I gain no priority for any original 
views or facts which have only appeared in ray * Principles * 
and * Elements.' When the Geological Society of France 
voted a sum of money to Archiac, to draw up a report on 
the progress of geology for ten years (1835 to 1846 I believe), 
he wrote to me to say that all treatises on geology were 
left out of such reports, as they were presumed to be com- 
pilations, authors taking care to take date for their dis- 
coveries in scientific journals, but as my book was an 
exception to such rules, he wished me to send him an exact 
list of all my original theories and fa^ts, and their dates, 
which owing to their numerous editions no one could make 
out, and which he must neglect without such aid. I have 
not yet complied with this requisition, nor do I think I shall, 
but it makes it the more agreeable to me, when any able 
writer like Owen (* British Mammals ') cites me, and gives 
the date of the earliest editions when my own views first 
appeared. I will now allude to some parts of my * Prin- 
ciples,' and some of my separate memoirs, to which I think 
it would have been natural for you to refer, that you may 
take an opportunity on some future occasion, if you think 
fit, to acknowledge my labours. 

To say nothing of my theory of the cause of fluctuation 
in climate, which although no eminent men have contro- 
verted it, none except Darwin have avowed their belief in, 
I will come at once to a grand truth of which your paper is 
a splendid illustration, viz. that ^ zoologists and botanists 
were unable to refer the distribution of species to any deter- 
minate principles because they have usually speculated on the 
phenomena on the assumption that the physical geography 
of the globe has undergone no alteration since the introduc- 
tion of species now living,' Ac. (* Principles,' 1st Edition, vol. 
ii. Ch. II.) I explained De Candolle's difficulty of mountain 
chains sometimes being barriers to the migration of plants 
and sometimes not. I insisted on the fact that in Sicily the 
species of plants, shells, &c., the whole flora and fauna, were 
older than their stationsy that they existed before the seas, 
hills, rivers, lakes, mountains, &c., were formed. I need 
not remind you of the entire chapters devoted to this kind 

108 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

of argument, which so far as Darwin's and my reading 
goes, was new. I certainly did not borrow it, and no one 
had dealt with it systematically. As I assumed ' specific 
centres,' as you do, and endeavoared to remove many 
anomalies which beset the subject and explained how species 
may have migrated ^ where islands since destroyed and sub- 
merged existed,' &c., and as I had so recently opened up 
this new line of research connecting geology and natural 
history, I think some brief notice, in a prefatory sentence, of 
my treatise would have formed a natural beginning to your 
grand working out of the problem. But I will now come to 
some of my papers which enter more specially into your 
own arena. I will first take one of my papers on Touraine, 
out of the order of date I believe, for I am writing this, as 
you will perceive, off-hand, in which I have endeavoured to 
prove, after carefully studying on the spot the fossil shells of 
the Norfolk and Suffolk Crag, and those of the Faluns, and 
compared them with each other, that a tract of land must 
have intervened in the Miocene period, between the regions 
of the Loire, Ac, on the south, and the Orwell, Yare, Ac, on 
the north. Owen has referred to this paper in his Introduc- 
tion, when speculating on the isthmus between Dover and 
Calais. Murchison in an anniversary address alluded with 
wonder to my identifying the groups of fossil shells in 
Norfolk and Touraine as contemporaneous, when nearly 
every species was distinct. I had accounted for this differ- 
ence in the species, not only by a geographical barrier like the 
isthmus of Suez, but also by the meeting of two different 
marine faunas in the same sea, one from higher and the 
other from lower latitudes, as Darwin had shown in South 
America. (See my paper, * Magazine of Natural History/ 
July 1839.) In that paper the comparative northern aspect 
of the Crag shells is reasoned upon. But this subject is 
taken up more fully in my comparison of the Faluns and 
Crag, published in 1841 (* Geological Proceedings,' vol. iii. 
p. 437), in which memoir there are many passages which I 
think called for some acknowledgment, and among others, 
my proof from the terrestrial mammalia of adjacent land 
in the neighbourhood of the Faluns. The geologist might 
wish to know whether you doubted my Miocene east and 


west barrier, or if not, whether plants wonld not have 
migrated by it into the south of England at an earlier period 
than that of your West of Ireland flora, No. 1. You may 
reply that such land may have had no connection with 
Spain, &c. I had made, as you know, the finest collection 
of Touraine shells, and had been aided by Searles Wood, as 
well as yourself and George Sowerby, in regard to my 
Miocene shells, besides getting the corals and fish, teeth, &c.» 
determined. I traced the real Sufiblk Crag to its southern 
limit in Normandy (' Geological Proceedings,' vol. iii. p. 438). 

In my paper, read 1840 (* Geological Proceedings,' vol. iii. 
p. 171), on the Norfolk drift, I refer th« disturbed stratifi- 
cation of the drift to the agency of ice, and I identify in age 
certain freshwater beds with part of the drift period, giving 
insects and fish and plants of that age. The fish are after- 
wards described, and I state that we must look northward 
for analogous types. Some allusion might have been made to 
these attempts to work out some of the dates of the modern 
fauna contemporary with recent shells. 

In my * Elements of Geology ' I entered copiously on the 
phenomena of the glacial period, and insisted on the arctic 
character of the fauna, in which I may have been anticipated 
by Smith of Jordan Hill, though I had drawn the inference 
from Canada and Sweden before he published. In the list 
you give of the shells of the glacial epoch, you have forgotten 
my list of Canada shells (Quebec) given in my American 
Travels ; thus, for example, Mya arenaria^ Saxicava rugosa^ 
Cardium Oroenlandicuniy Scalaria Oroenlandica^ Littorina 
palliatay are shells common at Quebec, and given in my list, 
to which you have not appended Canada as a good drift 
locality. I well know, however, how diflBcult it is to re- 
collect all the scattered notices of any author, and quite im- 
possible to find them in time for reference, even if you do 
remember them, and I imagine that none of us ever publish 
without giving some one the power of pointing out such 

You speak in your paper of the mingling of deep and 
shallow water species of shells, a fact to which Dr. Fleming 
had often called my attention, as the efibct of what he calls a 
ground swell, throwing up both kinds of testaeea, littoral and 

110 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

pelagic, on one shore. You hint at icebergs and northern 
waves. The former has no doubt had its influence, and when 
icebergs turn over, or fall to pieces, huge waves are caused 
not merely yrom the north. But it has always seemed to me 
that much more influence ought to be attributed to simple 
denudation where beds of loose sand, gravel, or mud were 
upheaved, and sometimes alternately depressed and upraised 
in an open sea. The exposure of such destructible materials 
mast have led to the confusion you allude to, but much less 
so where the beds were protected in fiords, &c. The broken 
fossils found in these strata would agree with my denudation 
hypothesis, which is I think strengthened by the frequent 
regular re-stratification of the beds containing the deep and 
shallow water species. 

I think your paper and Owen's Introduction have come 
out at a peculiarly opportune period, when Agassiz, Alcide 
D'Orbigny, and their followers, are trying to make out 
sudden revolutions in organic life in support of equally hypo- 
thetical catastrophes in the physical geography of the globe. 
Do not imagine that I shall in my new edition of the * Prin- 
ciples,' or elsewhere in print, ever allude to the slightest 
regret on my part about any of the omissions of reference in 
your book which I have here enumerated. On the contrary, 
I shall take every opportunity of expressing the real admi- 
ration I feel for your paper, and of citing it in my first, 
second, and third books. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

"From Edward Fobbes, Esq. — JBepZy to the foregoing Letter. 

Bala, North Wales : October 18, 1846. 

My dear Sir, — Many thanks for your letter of the I4th, 
with your remarks on my essay in the Survey Reports. The 
kind spirit in which you have written assures me that you 
cannot consider I have sent forth that essay with any in- 
tention of being unjust, or of overlooking your great claims 
in any part of it. 

My paper was written under very disadvantageous cir- 
cumstances. It had to be prepared for the press by a certain 


time, and no sooner had I commenced the preparation of it 
than the severe illness which laid me ap last winter came on, 
and two months, January and February, were thus entirely 
lost. During those months T was confined to my bed. 
March only remained for the composition, and during that 
month, whilst very weak and by no means fit for work of 
any kind, I had not only to write the paper as printed, but 
also to prepare my course of lectures on Distribution for the 
London Institution, and to get my botanical lectures in 
order, for their commencement in April. The superin- 
tendence of Spratt's and my Travels in Lycia, now at length 
ready to come out, was also on my hands. Under such cir- 
cumstances many references I should have liked to quote 
were lost sight of and omitted. I could not go about to 
libraries, and my own books are mostly still lying packed up 
in various places, as it is useless taking them out until I find 
myself in some more settled position. My only course under 
such circumstances was to write out my argument in my 
own way, and to back it by such references as were at hand, 
or as I had already taken notes of, when backing seemed to 
me absolutely necessary. The plan of my essay was purely 
indiictivey and consequently did not admit of more citation 
than was absolutely necessary for my purpose. I had pro- 
posed to myself a special problem (the origin of the British 
fauna and flora), and in the working of it out had neither 
time nor space to draw up an exhaustive essay. I had to 
compress my argument into as small a space as possible. It 
was my wish to have appended notes and extracts in an 
appendix, and to have given a bibliography of the scientific 
literature bearing upon the subjects treated of. In this way 
I could have done the fullest justice to everyone who had 
touched upon them ; but illness and the printers prevented 
the fulfilment of the intention. As you were away when I 
was at work, I have thought it necessary to offer these pre- 
liminary statements before replying to the special points in 
your letter. I shall now take them seriatim. 

1st. You 1 emark on my not alluding to the * Principles.* 
There cannot be a warmer admirer or more grateful pupil of 
your * Principles ' than myself. I have read every edition, 
and most often over ; and much that I have done has grown 

112 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxrv. 

up from the seed sown bj yoiu Mj not quoting them 
of fcener, however, is not an accident, but because I did not 
consider allusions to them necessary. I vrrote for naturalists 
and geologists — who are, or ought to be, as familiar with 
them as mjself. In all such essays as mine, it is impossible 
to refer except in very special cases or when the book or 
paper is supposed not to be familiar to the readers. What 
you say respecting the French does not affect this. It is 
part and parcel of the conceit of that nation to assume they 
have a right to put admitted truths, or sources of truth, 
aside. The idea of leaving out references to treatises on 
geology in a report on its progress is preposterous. In 
geology, as in the other natural history sciences, the last 
general treatise of acknowledged authority must always be 
the starting point in special essays, and its contents taken 
for granted, or else citations would be endless. At the same 
time the references you quote from the * Principles,' especially 
that respecting the age of the plants and animals of Sicily, 
might have been most advantageously (to me) noticed — and 
would have been, had they not escaped my memory. I have 
not the book by me here, but when I get back will refer to 
them most carefully. I still look forward to (and am pre- 
paring) an Essay on the Origin of the Flora of the Levant, in 
which the history of the whole Mediterranean flora will have 
to be commented on. This will give me an opportunity of 
showing the value of your views on these points. On this 
subject I should like to have much conversation. 

Now as to the more special papers. Your references to 
the Touraine and Crag papers are of the greatest conse- 
quence, and the quoting of them would have been strong 
supports to my argument. It would have made all those 
parts of my essay relating to the Crags much clearer and 
more satisfactory. But that part of the subject was kept as 
brief as possible, subservient to the main questions about the 
drift, &c. I had neither time nor sufi&cient practical know- 
ledge of the Crags to warrant my adventuring farther than I 
have done, but look forward to future work in that direction. 
The same may be said with respect to your Norfolk drift 
papers. I could not have entered critically on them or the 
Touraine papers without doing so in the case of many other 


valuable essays, by varioas authors, British and foreign — too 
many to cite consistent with my plan. This was also the 
case with respect to questions about action of ice, &c. As 
to the mingling of deep and shallow water species of shells. 
Dr. Fleming's explanation does not appear to me to apply in 
the cases referred to. When we meet, I will explain why. 

The references to the Canada list of Pleistocene fossils 
were omitted in the table at page 380 by an oversight, but 
you will find them all inserted in the full list forming the 
appendix, and at the end of the appendix your name given 
as my authority. 

One important point I have omitted to allude to, viz. 
your climatal views. I look on my paper in a great measure 
as a contribution towards this confirmation. But to have 
expressed a positive opinion on my part would have been of 
too little weight in the discussion. 

You are pleased to compliment my paper on its originality. 
Any praise from you must ever be among the greatest grati- 
fications to me, and to any honest labourer in the great field 
of nature. But I had rather hear the views I have set for- 
ward be proved not original than the contrary. It seems to 
me that the surest proof of the truth of such conclusions as 
I have summed up at the end of my essay is the fact of their 
not being original so far as one person is concerned, and of 
their having become manifest to more than one mind, either 
about the same time, or successively, without communication. 
I believe laws discover themselves to individuals, and not 
that individuals discover laws. If a law have truth in it, 
many will see it about the same time. Hence to me an- 
nouncements of anticipations are confirmations of the truth 
of one's opinions, and welcome accordingly. In this spirit 
I have gladly perused your letter, and in the same spirit 
I feel sure you will regard whatever I have written or may 
write, worthy to interest you. 

Ever, dear Mr. Lyell, most sincerely yours, 

Edward Forbes. 


114 5//? CHARLES LYELL. 


To Ills Fatheb, 

11 Harley Street : November 26, 1846. 

Mj dear Father, — I have got through half, and by far the 
most di£Scult half, of my new edition, and it gives me an 
interest in reading up my arrears of new geological papers 
which reconciles me to the deferring of my American second 
Travels. We went this morning to buy a dozen of knives 
for our dinner party on Monday. The old cutler in Oxford 
Street said, 'No. 11 Harley Street; I remember well the 
house, eleven doors on the right hand from Cavendish 
Square, for I went therewith knives to the Duke of Welling- 
ton, then Sir Arthur Wellesley (thirty eight years ago), for he 
lived there.' Old Mr. Eogers, who with the Milmans dine 
with us on Monday, to meet Charles Bunbury and Frances, 
will, I daresay, be able to tell us of Sir Arthur in this 
quarter. Macaulay was most entertaining at Milman's last 
dinner, giving and taking, and not overpowering. He is hard 
at work with his * History of England.' I asked him if he had 
read * Constantinople,' in the last * Quarterly Review.' He 
said, * No, but all about St. Chrysostom is got out of the 
edition of his works, which I read at Calcutta, and ended by 
liking the old saint, which is more than one can say of most 
of the old Fathers.' Milman remarked, that at Oxford such 
high prices are no longer obtained for editions of the Fathers 
or Puseyite mediaeval books, but they are selling at Cam- 
bridge. A few days before, Herman Merivale told me he 
had heard the same, and that there was an extraordinary 
spread of scepticism and rationalism at Oxford. In large 
parties, men holding forth that as a high admiration of the 
beauty of form was the characteristic of the Greeks as a 
nation, so the Jews had the religious instinct very largely 
developed, and hence they developed Judaism, Christianity, 
&c. To get back to Dean's Yard, Milman was talking of the 
fortune he could have made if he had had the gift of pro- 
phecy for five years, as, when he came to Westminster, whole 
streets of houses were offered him for a fifth of what they 
let for, when railway companies were bidding for oflBces near 
the Houses of Parliament, &c. On which Macaulay, recurring 
to the former talk about Chrysostom said, * But think if one 

1846. DINNER AT MILMAN'S, 115 

could have bought up the Fathers at their value in 1800 
{when they were fairly appreciated), and sold them at the 
Oxford price of 1840 ! ' Some one at the other end of the 
table, where there was a dish of larks, was talking of the 
. destruction of life, such small birds, when Macaulay said, 

* On that principle you ought to feed on blubber.' Would 
not old Dr. Johnson have just said that, if Boz had been 
sentimental ? Lord Lansdowne was in good spirits, but the 
great affair of the Education Bill being put on him, evidently 
makes him feel as the old man. Kay Shuttleworth, who 
dined with us, is his right-hand man in that, and to him we 
shall be, I hope, indebted for some good plan of national 
education. George Lewis, the much-abused poor-law com- 
missioner, was very agreeable. Ever since his. article on 
serfdom in the * Edinburgh,' last spring, I have thought 
more highly of his talents, which we always knew to be 
great. Lewis was talking of the ancient Britons not trying 
to convert the Anglo-Saxons because they despised, them so 
much, and thought they might as well go to the devil their 
own way. Macaulay said, * Would the Saxons ha^e gained 
much, being such respectable Pagans, and the Welsh such 
superstitious Christians?' Henry Drummond (the saint), 
when Cunningham (of Hairrow). tried to convert Byron, said, 

* It was better to be an infidel such as Byron, than such a 
churchman as Cunningham.' Milman talked of Talfourd's 
dismay when his * Ion ' was published entire in a Calcutta 
newspaper, and called * John.' Alison's * History ' was 
spoken of, and his blunder of calling the French ' impot des 
timbres,' the timber duties. I wish the accounts from 
Kinnordy could make me feel more cheerful about my 

With our joint love, believe me, my dear father, your 
affectionate son, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His Father; 

11 Harley Street: December 16, 1846. 

My dear Father, — Eleanor's letter to Mary, and yours to 
me, arrived at very unusual hours of the day, and I suppose the 

I 2 

116 57A? CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxiv. 

railway punctuality has been disturbed by the snow. I 
Iwsure you I expected no answers to my letters, and if they 
ever give any amusement to the party at Kinnordy, it is a 
pleasure to us, and a very poor contribution towards our 
share of cheering the winter there/ where so many are 
proving themselves such excellent nurses. I can hardly 
remember enough of Mary's letter to be sure I may not make 
some repetitions of our three very agreeable days at Bowood, 
but I will add a few of my remembrances. Nothing made 
i;he whole visit more agreeable than the perfectly equal part 
that most of the guests played in conversation, which was 
"lively and well worth listening to. It is too often the case 
in such society, that some one gets an undue monopoly, not 
so much from a desire to shine, as from exuberance of ideas 
and spirits, as was remarkably the case with Sydney Smith, 
and even Rogers in his better days when I first knew him, 
and is now with Macaulay and Lord Jeffrey, and occasionally 
even with Hallam, but never with Milman, though his talk 
is of the very best. One day Lord Lansdowne asked Lord 
Clarendon what the Pope was originally. He answered, ' He 
wanted to go into the imperial guard and be a soldier, but 
they would not have him because he had been epileptic' 
' Then,' said Milman, ' he may make, perhaps, the fourth 
great epileptic hero; ' Julius Csesar, Mahomet, and Napoleon 
being the three others. They were talking of Sydney Smith, 
and how he never talked of his mother, whereas his brother, 
Bobus Smith, was so fond of dilating on the excellences and 
extraordinary beauty of their mother. On this Lord Lans- 
downe said one day, he (Bobus) bored Talleyrand so much 
with that theme in London, that Talleyrand said, * C'^toit 
done monsieur votre p^re qui ^toit si laid.' 

Mr. Greville had learnt from Harness about my reptilian 
footsteps from the Pennsylvaniancoal, and as his brother-in- 
law, Lord Ellesmere (late Lord F. Gower), had been recently 
taking up slabs of Cheirotherium footsteps in the New Eed 
on his property, he (Mr. Greville) was curious about them, 
and wanted to know the antiquity I ascribed to them as 
compared to the Megatherium. After the ladies had retired 
they fell to in earnest on the whole subject, and after I had 

* His mother and sister being laid up with illness. 

1846. VISIT TO BO WOOD, 117 

given my views, Milman explained how writers of research 
and reputed orthodoxy in the English church, had adopted, 
some the Hebrew, others the Septuagint, others the Sama- 
ritan chronology, and how that of St. Paul differed from that 
of Moses, and on the whole, how they varied 2,000 years 
from each other. After his very clear exposition of the case, 
Lord Clarendon, who had never, I think, read or thought 
much on the point before, observed, * It seems then, that the 
geologists are blamed for not making their notions of the 
world's age agree exactly with a chronology (supposed to be 
Scriptural), which we really know nothing about/ 

One day at dinner I was telling Milman that Pius IX. 
had not only encouraged the scientific professors of the 
Eoman States to attend this year's congress of * savans ' in 
Italy, but another (the next I believe) was to be held at 
Kome. * Yes,' he said, * and the British Association is to 
meet at Oxford with Sir It. Inglis as president. Inglis and 
the Pope; no wonder people are fearing that Oxford and 
Rome are approximating too nearly. And both of them, after 
opposing railways, are adopting them.' Lord Clarendon 
told a good story of the last papal election, but I cannot 
remember the names. Cardinal A., who was ambitious of 
mounting the papal chair, asked Cardinal B. who he thought 
would succeed. B. replied, * If, as we are given to understand, 
the Holy Ghost directs our decisions, I think it will be 
either Cardinal Chigi or Ferretti (the present Pope), but if, 
as some think, the Devil meddles with the election, I shall 
not be surprised if the choice should fall to your Eminence 
or me.' Within five or six miles from Chippenham, through 
Calne or Bowood Park, to the summit of the chalk downs, 
which are visible from Bowood, there is a beautiful geological 
series of formations exposed, ranging from the Bath Oolite 
to the chalk. By going one way and returning another, t 
was able \u a few hours to give a good field lesson to a party 
of three ; they were apt scholars, and I was very glad to 
explore the country myself. 

Ever your affectionate son, 

Chables Ltell. 

118 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxiv 

To George Ticknor, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London : December 26, 1846. 

My dear Ticknor, — I shall begin this letter some days 
before the next mail, that I may thank you for your last, 
which interested us much, especially your account of the 
inhaling the ether, of which many successful experiments 
have already been made in the hospitals here^ and about 
which everyone was anxious to know, and knew not how 
much to believe. Sir J. Clark and Dr. Boott learnt from 
your statement, which Mary gave them when she met them 
one day, the first precise account of the longest time (seven- 
teen minutes) that the effect had been prolonged without 
injury* We have been reading Dana's *Two Years before 
the Mast,' a delightful book ; it is so rare to get a clear in- 
sigbfc from an educated mind of what life really is in a 
humbler grade among the working classes. Is he getting 
on as a lawyer, and has his health never suffered from his 
voyage ? When you introduced him to me he seemed quite 
well. I believe I mentioned to you in my last letter that we 
were going to pay a visit at Bowood, at Lord Lansdowne's, in 
the country (Wiltshire) of a few days. It turned out a very 
agreeable lioliday. The party were Mr. and Mrs. Milman, 
and Mr. Harness, Lord and Lady Clarendon (he is now 
President of the Board of Trade), the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, Mr. Wood and Lady Mary Wood, (she is a daughter 
of Lord Grey, and a very pleasant person), Mr. Charles 
Greville, author of an excellent work on * Ireland,' Loid 
Devon. I had much talk with the President of the Board of 
Trade on American affairs, on which he is well informed, 
and has liberal and statesmanlike notions, without prejudice. 
Indeed the freedom from that upon this subject is, I think, 
singularly in proportion to the more elevated station in 
society which men occupy here, which is more than some 
would have expected between a democracy and aristocracy. 

Mary showed the daguerreotype of Mr. Prescott's bust to 
Lord Lansdowne, and they think that none have been as well 
executed here, and Lord Lansdowne wished Mr. Prescott 
would make haste and come to England, in which the others 
joined. The Milmans were in good health and spirits. Tom 


Moore was asked, but did not come. One day Lady Lansdowne 
gave me an Irish car to myself, and I gave Milman, Lord 
Clarendon, and the Chancellor of Exchequer a regular field 
lecture, taking them from * the oolite to the chalk downs/ 
into which they entered with great spirit, especially the two 
ministers, who wanted to forget the state of Ireland, growing 
as it does every day worse and worse. I send you a letter I 
was induced to send to the * Times '^ (the first time I was 
ever guilty of such familiar intercourse with the public press) 
in answer to innumerable inquiries on the subject, some of 
them from your side of the water. Dr. Gould will, I think, 
be glad to see it when you have read it. I am glad to hear 
that Agassiz saw so much of Gould, and appreciated, as he 
couid not fail to do, his profound knowledge of zoology. 
Believe me, dear Ticknor, ever most truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

* On the alleged co-existence of man and the Megatherium. 

120 S/J: CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxv. 




To His Fatheb. 

11 Harley Street: Febraaiy 21, 1847. 

My dear Father, — I have been so much occupied since I 
got my book oflF my hands with arrears which had accumu- 
lated, that I have not given you any account of our scientific 
anniversary of the Geological Society when the first, and 
only copy yet out of the hooky was laid on the table as a 
present to the Geological Society, and really looks better 
than you might expect a condensation of three into one to 
do, the print being respectably large. Homer, to whom as 
President of the Geological Society I have dedicated my 
seventh edition, got great credit, as he deserved, for his two 
years' services to the Geological Society. Sir H. De la Beche, 
the new President, was supported by Lord Morpeth, who 
spoke with his usual eloquence, and after him Bancroft made 
a very good speech, ending with saying he had obtained 
leave to give my health. So I was called up very parly, and 
told them my last news from De VemeuU and Agassiz, both 
foreign members of the Geological Society, and who having 
both visited the United States since I returned from America 
last spring, had given us as flattering an account of their 
reception, and the number of congenial enthusiastic minds 
tbey had been in contact with, as I could have done. I amused 


them by narrating what De Vemeuil had said to me, when I 
asked him if he was not struck with the reigning idea which 
cheered one in travelling in that country : progress, progress. 

* Yes,' he said, *your information is quite antiquated ; it is six 
months old. You have only seen the railroad penetrating 
westward 300 miles, through forests and morasses, but I 
have seen the electric telegraph extending beyond the termi- 
nation of the railway ; the wires attached to the trunks of 
trees from which the boughs had just been lopped ofiF, and 
the news carried with the speed of lightning to villages and 
towns which have never yet seen a locomotive engine.' The 
Bishop of Norwich spoke well, though some might have 
been less pleased than we geologists to hear him wish that 

* they who diflfer but in a little in theological matters, would 
only live in as great harmony with each other as he saw 
scientific men do, who diflfered so widely in their theoretical 
opinions on many points, which they could discuss, as we did^ 
without quarrelling, and cherishing, as became Christians, 
the unity of spirit and the bond of peace.' Poor man! he 
has enough of it in his diocese, although he has not, I believe^ 
been of late personally embroiled in the ecclesiastical disputes 
that divide many of his clergy. We are glad to have the 
Bunburys with us. * The fresh woods and pastures new,' 
which you congratulated me upon now enjoying, consist of 
my joint paper with Charles Bunbury, on the more modem 
or Oolitic Coal and Coal Plants of Chesterfield County, near 
Richmond, Virginia. 

Ever your afifectionate son, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Geobge Ticekob, Esq. 

11 Harley Street : February 23, 1847. 

My dear Ticknor, — We were glad to receive your kind 
letters from Park Street, with one, long looked for, from the 
Hamilton Coupers from Georgia, and others from Mac- 
Ilvaine, Miss Wadsworth, and other friends, which took us 
back very pleasantly to many of the points where we spent 
our time most agreeably a year ago. At a dinner at 
Hallam's the great subject was the vacant editorship of the 

122 . SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxv. 

* Edinburgh Eeview.' Macvey Napier having died, Hallam 
and Milinan had for years thought they had better bring the 

* Edinburgh * up to London, as most of the contributors in 
these days live south of the Tweed. Longman the bookseller 
had been closeted with Macaulay for hours, consulting what 
could be done, the pecuniary and political stake being con- 
siderable. They had at first thought seriously of a Mr. 
Bogers (no relation of the poet, and I believe a clergyman), 
a contributor to the * Eeview ' of many able articles of late, 
on * Puseyism,* * Leibnitz,' and in the last, * Pascal.' Lord 
Jeffrej' was much opposed to the editorship leaving * Auld 
Eeekie ; ' but yet they talk now of his son-in-law Empson 
being editor, who has a professorship of law in the East 
India College, near London. He wrote the long article on 

* David Hume ' in the last. The article on * Bagged Schools ' 
in the * Quarterly Beview,' of which you inquire, is by Lord 
Aphley, who has gone practically and personaUy into the 
investigation. Milman wrote the other, on * Popular Educa- 
tion,' which I am glad you approve of as much as we do. 
The article on * Centralisation ' in the * Edinburgh ' is by 
John Austin : they tell me it is *good, but dry.' I remember 
when Lord Melbourne was considering the best way of dis- 
persing a mob which they were anticipating, Sydney Smith 
recommended him to get John Austin to go and read them 
a chapter out of his * Jurisprudence,' then just published. 

We were discussing the other day the effect which it 
would have here in modifying religious intolerance, if the 
social and educational equality of the different sects were 
greater, which made me wish to know from you, as a matter 
of fact, whether any literary man or woman in Boston, 
whether of the Episcopal, Presbyterian (Calvinist), Bomanist 
(if any there), Methodist, &c. &c., lived through the days of 
Channing's greatest celebritj'- as a preacher and writer, with- 
out, once in a way, and many of them oftener, going to hear 
him preach. I apprehend that the effect of such occasional 
interchange of churches, even where rare, is not only to 
make part of a congregation see that there is some good in 
the leading men of other sects (at all events that they have 
not horns and cloven feet), but that the controversialists 
ho teach a flock, who have access to their opponents' argu- 

1 847. MACAULAY. 123 

ments orally delivered, are more cautious and exact in what 
they say themselves. Bancroft made a good speech at our 
geological anniversary. 

The education scheme here is crippled by the bottomless 
pit of Ireland, but is ripening and expanding the teaching 
of schoolmcistersy more and more determined on as indis- 
pensable. But they are deplorably behind Boston. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Father. 

1 1 Harley Street : March 6, 1847. 

My dear Father, — I hope you will get this letter on your 
birthday, of which Mary and I wish you many happy returns ; 
and beg you to accept from us a print of Paris, which recalled 
to our memory in a bird's-eye view all the leading features, 
and streets and gardens and boulevards, of that beautiful 
city most vividly. 

I am busy writing a paper on the more modern Coal Field 
near Richmond in Virginia, and spent a good day yesterday 
in my museums here with Sir Philip Egerton, who has 
named my fossil fish for me, on which subject he is quite 
an authority, founding new genera and species which are 
generally adopted in Europe. We had a pleasant call at 
Mr. Rogers', whose sister is recovering from her fall. We 
found on the old man's table a speech of Charles II. to his 
Parliament, printed in 1661, in bad English, which he ob- 
served could never have been shown to Clarendon. Alluding 
to Macaulay, he said * he had found him once writing a re- 
view with five folios open, each on separate chairs, but un- 
fortunately, though conscious that the article would be known 
to be his, he was writing with that confidence and rapidity 
which if he had had to sign his name at length to the pages, 
he would not have presumed to do. Such was the unfortu- 
nate tendency of anonymous historical literature.' He then 
repeated, what I had often heard him declare, that Hallam 
wrote history as a judge and Macaulay as an advocate, and 
he blamed the latter for giving a set-down to Charles Fox's 
*Life of James II.,* for which Samuel Rogers stood up man- 

124 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxv. 

fully, taking the book down from his shelf, and, without 
spectacles, pointed to three or four of his favourite passages. 
Mary sends her love and best wishes ; and with love to all 
the family, believe me, my dear father. 

Your affectionate son, 

Chakles Ltell. 

To Geosge Ticenob, Esq. 

London : April 2, 1847. 

My dear Ticknor, — We had a very agreeable breakfast the 
other morning with Mr. Rogers, in his eighty-fifth year, and 
though he is now often tired at dinner after the society of the 
morning, I never knew his mind more vigorous than it was. 
The party, besides ourselves, were the Bishop of Norwich 
and his wife Mrs. Stanley, both original and pleasant people, 
and the Bancrofts. The old poet took pains, as the Bancrofts 
were there for the first time, to do the honours of the house 
and pictures well, and often as I have heard him, it was 
most of it new to me. He has a very spirited reduced 
picture by Haydon, of Napoleon on the rock overhanging 
the ocean at St. Helena, the back turned towards you. I 
like it better than the one which I have seen at Peel's, 
at Tamworth (Drayton), which is as large as life ; too large. 
This gives us all the sentiment, which was much heightened 
to us by Rogers, who you know is an excellent reciter, re- 
peating some lines of a poem by Lyte, a Devonshire clergy- 
man, vnritten when the French first asked leave to remove 
the ashes of the Emperor from St. Helena. 

Disturb him not, he slumbers well 

On his lock 'mid the western deep ! 
Where the broad blue waters round him swell, 

And the tempests o'er him sweep. 
Disturb him not, though bleak and bare, 

That spot is all his own, 
And greater homage was paid him there 

Than on his hard- won throne. 
Earth's mightiest monarchs there at bay 

The caged lion kept, 
For they knew with dread that his iron tread 

Waked earthquakes where he stept. 

On my aAking if he could show me the whole poem of Ly te's, 

from a drawer, where it was pasted in. 


cut out of a newspaper, and aa he gave it me, he said some- 
thing in his caustic way which I cannot report correctly. 
* When men have hit on a dozen good lines, they must 
always dilute them with a hundred weak ones.* In fact I 
found along set of verses, from which, not all from one place, 
he had skilfully culled the best. After he had told the story 
of Chantrey having come as a workman at five shillings a 
day to receive orders for the ornamented woodwork of ihe 
table in the middle of the drawing-room, Mary happened to 
say she had never seen Addison's table, on which he wrote 
the * Spectator/ S. R. went for it, for it is too plain and 
simple to accord with the rest of the furniture. Opening a 
drawer, he took out Addison's works, and read his dedica- 
tion to Craggs, where he speaks of his desire that the 
memory of his writings should not outlive that of their 
friendship. * A compliment,' said Rogers, * which is the more 
pleasing when we recollect, which few do, that three days 
after he penned the dedication Addison died.' S. R. was 
describing some picture to Mr. Bancroft and Mary, while 
Bancroft was still at Addison's table with the book. I asked 
him, as he had been so often at the Abbey lately, and in 
Poets' Corner, if he could help me to the last two verses of 
Pope's Epitaph on Craggs. It is nearly thus, said I : 

He missed no public, served no private end, 
He gained no title, and he lost no friend. 

But * missed ' is certainly not the word. Afterwards, when at 
home, I had turned up Pope, and read *He broke no promise,' 
&c. There was some talk of duelling in the United States, 
and the usual explanation that the North is not the South, 
and that John Bull must try and learn to draw a line between 
the New Englander and the Southern chivalry. Upon which 
Rogers told a story which was the more laughed at because 
the ladies hardly knew whether they ought to laugh, and 
which I think the old gentleman told expressly to Mrs. Ban- 
croft to try whether she had any of the reputed prudery of 
the Northern lady. He remembered an acquaintance going 
out to fight one Dr. Humphrey Howard, and seeing that his 
antagonist had no garments on, sent his second for an ex- 
planation. H. H. replied, that being a surgeon he well 

126 S/X CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxv, 

knew that a bit of cloth carried into the flesh hy a bullet 
would make it fester. The other declined shooting at a naked 
man, and so it ended. ' And if ever,' said S. B., ' I am called 
out, I am determined to adopt the same costume.' There 
was some talk of prose translations of poetry ; Bogers in 
favour of them, wishing the ' Iliad ' had been well done into 
prose, ' thoug;h I provoked MUman by saying so, and he de- 
clared he had made a vow never again to read any prose 
version of anypoem.' 'Tonmakenoexception?' said L 'None 
whatever.' ' Then we shall never hear you again read the 
Book of Job, or the Psalms of David, in our ordinary version,* 
said I. Empson has undertaken the ' Edinburgh Review ' 
after all. They talked of Bogers. ' Is he not a dissenting 
miniEter at Birmingham ?' 'Yes, and evidently a man of 
first-rate talent ; but how do yon know that they did not 
mean me, when they talked of Rogers as editor ? ' ' You 
have written reviews ? ' 'A few. One on Carey's " Dante," 
and Moxon the publisher said I caused the sale of 2,000 
copies immediately. Another on "Joanna Baillie," when I 
called her several times " he " and " him " in the course of 
the article.' 

I am much obliged to you for what you told me in your 
letter about Channing's works, and their sale, and Dewey's 
' History,' and we read in consequence with still greater in- 
terest Chajining's powerful discourse on the occasion of Jared 
Sparkes' ordination. There is nothing which people here 
so overrate as the relative proportion of the Unitarians as 
compared to the population of all other sects in Boston, and 
still more in New England, while they equally underrate, I 
suspect, the influence which the writings of the* American 
Unitarians have exerted and do exert both in the United 
States and in this country. 

As to Mexico, one cannot but feel what Madame de Stael 
said about fiaXiima, 'that nations -always deserve their fate, 
whatever that fate may be,' although it is no apology for 
those who think it is • our destiny' to be conquerors and the 
instrumenta of fate, Fimv here have any idea how much 
colonisation will be promoted in California, and what great 
xeEiilts must come of this movement. 

f chapter in my ' Travels ' has been much 


read here the last few weeks, and cited as authority in pam- 
phlets, there being a stir for reform in higher as well as lower 
departments. Whewell has prepared a scheme for Cam- 
bridge reform which I have not seen yet. The other day 
Baron Stockmar, who is so much about the Prince (now 
Chancellor of Cambridge by a small majority on the poll ! !), 
told me at a party * that Bunsen had set him to read my 
temperate and manly article on the " Universities,*' by which he 
and Bunsen had learnt with surprise that abuses which they 
had attributed to Romanist times dated chiefly from Pro- 
testant ages, and were therefore less excusable.* Nothing, I 
find, surprises our University men themselves so much as to 
learn, inter alia, that whereas under Soman Catholic rule 
the principal teachers of academical youth married and 
settled at Oxford and Cambridge, all those who now really 
and eflSciently engross the educational function are enjoined 
to celibacy. 

T am making it a matter of conscience to get out what 
Lockhart calls my * Greywacke,' and which he and the 
public generally skip, before I indulge in other matters ; but 
if you can tell me anything about the pay and station of your 
schoolmasters of schools for the many, by which I can com- 
pare them to ours, I shall be glad. I know how many com- 
plaints there are in New England of teachers being under- 
paid, yet I fancy they are in aiBuence when contrasted with 
ours. I should also be glad to know about the foundation 
and endowment of the new chairs lately founded, or accord- 
ing to Gould about to be created, for science in Harvard 
University. Whewell has replied to my chapter on our 
University system, and he has also written me a private 
letter of remonstrance the other day. I am going to take a 
day or two to write a reply in full, of which I will send you 
a copy, which I shall be glad that Everett should read, as 
some of the statements by Whewell had made some impres- 
sion on him; but he will see that I was right. Indeed public 
opinion is rapidly strengthening. There is a move now in the 
right direction ; but the clerical influence arrayed against all 
progressive sciences, whether physical or literary, is too 
powerful to be easily overcome. My University chapter has 
been praised of late in quarters where three years ago it 


would have acted as an excIuBion from societ; or good 

Tbe moment I mentioned to Hallam, eome weeks or a 
month, ago, that England was the onlj country that had not 
conferred some public honour on Prescott, be Baid they 
usually waited till some friend took it up. Shortly after he 
told me, that he and Lord Mahon had immediately proposed 
him at the Antiqaaries, the oldest body, after the Royal, 
which is for ' natural knowledge ' exclusively. In due time 
be will be elected, and will have tbe privilege, as explained 
in one of the old farces, of appending A.S.S. to his name as 
being of tbe Antiquarian Society a Socius. 

l5r. Gould's letter of enthusiasm about Agassiz is very 
refreshing, and shows that Cbanning need not have been so 
severe on the atmosphere of Boston, as repressing all such 
feelings, or tbe eipvession of them. 

As to Agassiz saying the negro's brain is like a child's 
fourteen or siiteen years old, if I am not greatly in error, 
Owen says the same of the adult male stolid and uneducated 
agricultural labourer. Tell Agassiz this, and see if it is new 
to him. On our recent fast day, the charity children, tbe 
youngest down to four years old, had to go to church, in many 
parishes three times; service two hours, and an hour and a 
half. Is there any persecution of the young perpetrated in 
New England on Sundays or other days of this kind ? 
But I must conclude. Believe me, dear Ticknor, 

Ever most truly yoors, 

Chableb Ltell. 

To Qeokoe Tigcnob, Esq. 

London; May 3, 1847. 

My dear Ticknor, — Nothing which you have told me 

gives me greater hopes of the future than your account of 

Mr. Hillard'a lectures, and hi» class. Pray tell me all such 

Mr. Hallam, when we breakfasted with him, was 

^Vtiig Mr. Winthrop an account of the Buma paid for rare 

books by the Americans, one of whom bought at a sale the 

for 500i. (sterling) the other day. Sir 

t)hu to Hallam, who remai-ked that 


according to the old proverb, there must have been two fools 
at that auction. * Yes,' said Sir Thomas, * I was the other ; I 
bid against him.' Milman said that Sir Thomas could not 
have paid, so perhaps he was not such a fool after all. You 
see that Sir Walter Scott is dead. So ends that title, which 
one would have liked to have seen hereditary, if any. Lock- 
hart looks ill. 

Bead Hugh Miller's ^ First Impressions of England,' &c. 
I hope to send you a copy of my letter to Whewell by this 
post. Beg Mr. Everett to read it, and tell him I have an 
answer from Whewell which is quite a knock-under as to 
every disputed fact, and extremely pacific. 

With my love to Mrs. Tlcknor and her daughters, 

Believe me most truly yours, 

Chableb Lyell. 

To His Fatheb. 

11 Harley Street, London : June 96, 1847. 

My dear Father, — I went down on Wednesday morning 
by the 10.0 express train to Oxford,* most of the time at 
the rate of a mile a minute, and our party, consisting of 
Milman, Bancroft, Grove, and myself, conversed easily, and 
it was certainly a magical transfer from place to place. It 
seemed strange to find Richards rector. I first encountered 
my old Swedish friend, of Lund in Scania, Professor Nilsson, 
who told me * he was very unhappy, having lost his cofiFer ' 
(alias portmanteau), which with his broken English he could 
not recover. So I made a stir, and found it at an inn. He 
then showed me what he considers conclusive evidence of 
man having co-existed with TJrsus spelxmts and other extinct 
mammalia in Scania. Though not quite satisfactory to me, 
it is the best proof I have seen ; he had his fossil teeth, 
bones, arrow-heads, Ac, with him. I then met in the Theatre 
Whewell, Peacock, Conybeare, Buckland, Adams, Faraday, 
Owen, C. Darwin, Bishop of Norwich, Chevalier Bunsen, 
Sir R. Inglis, Murchison, De la Beche, Sedgwick, Sir J. 
Richardson, Wheatstone, and many others with whom I 
spoke. I called on Mr. Gary, but found him overwhelmed 

* Where the BritisTi Association was held. 

130 S/J! CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxv. 

with law busineBs in the Vice-CJhancellor's Court. He apoke 
of jour present of your ' Dante,' &c. As Darwin waa lodging 
with the JaoobBons, 1 called with him, knowing Mr. Jacob- 
son, who is Vice-Frincipal, I thiuk, of Magdalen HalL After 
I was gone, Darwin, seeing my ' Travels ' on Jacobaon's shelf, 
asked him how my TTnirersity chapter had been taken at 
Oxford. He aaid, ' Extremely well ; much read, and consi- 
dered very temperate, and full of proofs of my having 
thought deeply on their system, and that he had heard many 
who differed hx)m it in toio praise it.' I found on my 
table many cards of Exeter men, now become fellows, &c. 
The first day I dined with Baden Powell, who has married 
my friend Captain W. H. Smyth's daughter, to meet Sir 
John Herschel and Sir James and Lady Ross. I learnt much 
of the Antarctic expedition ; some very wonderful new facts 
about the temperature of the very deep parts of the sea. 
Id the evening we had an immense party at the Sotanic 
Garden, at Dr. Daubeny's, where I was introduced by Sir 
Thomas Acland to his son, now Professor of Comparative 
Anatomy, and who takes all my views of the reform required 
in their system. Trevelyan, who was there with his wife, 
tells me he is one of the cleverest of the scientific Oxonians, 
and will be very distinguished. Young Buckland had a 
young bear, dressed up as a student of Christ Church, with cap 
and gown, whom lie formally introduced to me, and eucces- 
Bively to the Prince of Canino (Charles Buonaparte), Milne- 
Edwards, member of the French Institute, and Sir T. Acland. 
The bear sucked allour ha nds, and was very caressing. Amid 
our shouts of laugtter in the garden by nioonlifjht, it was 
diverting to see two or three of the dons, who were very shy, 
not knowing how far their dignity was compromised. Nest 
morning I breakfasted at New College with Mr. Philip 
Duncan, a large party in Hall, most of whom I knew. The 
Dean of Winchester and some I had seen at Southampton 
in September were there. I then went and spoke at some 
lengtli Qt the Geological Section, on what I had aeen of 
' raised beiii'hfa ' in Sorth America, on the Canadian Lakes, 
and in tlie valley of the Seine, subjepta on which Robert 
.Cliaiohers {author of the * Vestiges ') read a paper. Sedg- 
\ «ad Profeasor Jamea Forbes of Edinburgh, 

1847. RUSKm. 131 

and Darwin. Dalby was with us in the omnibus for a stage, 
and he and the sub-rector and my friends Darwin and Major 
Clarke had had a luncheon dinner together in the Common 
Boom at Exeter before starting. 

I left at six o'clock. With me in the coach was Dr. 
Twiss, who had been active on CardwelPs committee, and 
whose indignation at the conduct of even the more moderate 
party at Oxford was at the boiling-point. How extremes 
meet ! I really might have thought that some one of my New 
England Whig friends was complaining of the ultra demo- 
crats reducing them to mere delegates, and destroying all 
free agency by requiring so many pledges as to future 
votes. It was not enough to go into all pending questions, 
but they put several hypothetical queries as to possible 
measures of future Government ; as to educating or endowing 
Boman Catholics; and declared the answers not specific 
enough, and so drove him to retire ; and now Round is said 
to have the best chance, and Maynooth and the Corn Bill, 
which the Cardwell party had hoped were dead and buried, 
and in the tomb of the Capulets, are to make the University, 
as Milman says, * totus teres atque rotundus.^ Inglis (who is 
quite a star in the House compared to Bound) being so sleek, 
fat, and good-humoured, and on such good terms personally 
with all, even those who regard him as the parliamentary 
representative of the prejudices of the age, is truly the totus 
teres. Out of twenty-four heads of houses, only four at 
Oxford to receive the Association ! But it will go off the 
better by the absence of the lukewarm or the hostile. I 
spoke to Hallam, Ehrenberg, and a great many others. 
Mary will tell you, I hope, of the Lansdowne House party ; 
my eyes are so much better now that I enjoyed it much. 
I was glad at Oxford to see more of Buskin, who was secre- 
tary of our Geological Section. I like him very much. If 
you have not seen his book on * Painting,' you will be able to 
do so at Kinnordy. I have borrowed it of Susan. 

Believe me, my dear father, your affectionate son, 

Chables Ltell, 


V4i SJH CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxv. 

7V; Chakleb Bukbuet, Esq. 

KicDordj: Jnljr 27, 3847. 

My dtfar Buubury, — The pn^spect of the Cape Journal 
c^jiuiij;; Xa) li|^ht it) tx> uie a {^reat source of pleasure. I found 
your lAnnuia bortalu with more than a hundred /lowers in 
full blow in the first week of this month. Some ahootfi, 
i4\(Ui inches further from the centre of the patch than last 
ypiir, ami 1 think I have reckoned backwards that thirty 
years ujfit it nji^^ht have been sown by a bird, but is probablj 
oUUtr. Under a hot sun, the almondy scent of the flowers is 
very strou)^ and delicious; after rain there is no odour at alL 
'I'he day 1 last wrote to you I was going up the Clare "FTilK 
1 saw thi«re, and took, the northern butterfly Polyommatu» 
At'tii^i'txint, which I had never seen (Lepidopterist as I am) 
on the wing before. Our fairy ring is of larger diameter 

In haste, and with love to Frances, believe me, mj dear 
Bunbury, ever affectionately yours, 

Chableb Ltell. 

To Ueouqe Ticknor, Esq. 

Kinnordj : August 25, 1847. 

My deiir Ticknor,— I am now fairly through my prin- 
oipiil gocdogioiil papers, one of which, of some length, on the 
i\ml Fit^ld ntMir Riolnnond, is just printed, with illustrations of 
t ho fossils I piHuMmnl there. In Kn^king over my notes nothing 
surprises mo so much ojs the activity and progress, and the 
intolUvtuul oxoitement and primiise for the future, which I 
saw in ho many jwrts of the Union, and of which there is 
heiv such an inadequato appreciation, and a kind of dogged 
inorodulity which nothing but an array of statistics will 
disturb, ivuplod with the evidence of an eye-witness. In 
spite of the multiplication of stt^amU^ts and newspapers, 
and complimeutarv sjHVches to Wintlm^p and Bancroft at 
p\ibUc and private dinner^ John Bull is in gt^neral in a state 
of willul bhudmNis as to what is doing on the west side of 


the Atlantic, and he will wake up some fine morning, and 
hardly believe his eyes when he beholds the whiU popula- 
tion equalling his own, and the number of those who can 
and do read and write twice as great. I remember when 
first the French Chambers began to discuss the first prin- 
ciples of a representative government, the English were 
astonished to see how many things even the highest Tories 
had been accustomed to t^ke for granted, and how much 
they had inherited as a prejudice which they of the old 
regime in France deemed revolutionary. Pray let me have 
letters from you on the evidence of the advance of the 
educational and literary and scientific cause when the spirit 
moves you. When I was first at Boston all theatres were 
shut up; now you have several. Are any steps taken to 
render them less objectionable in the eyes of those people 
who in England regard them as corrupting and loose in their 
morality, from the bad selection of pieces acted and the of the performances ? 1 fear that circumstances 
do not favour in New England what one would wish to see — 
the converting the theatre into a place of refined intellectual 
culture, holding the same rank in that line which a philo- 
sophical lecture-room does in science, or a church in matters 
of religion. Is not this decay of the drama a strange ano- 
maly ? If the mere music and show, and costly scenery of 
our modern melodrama, to which crowds go, had been me- 
diaeval, and the acting of ^Macbeth,' and the writing of it had 
belonged to this age, would not this have seemed to you 
more in the natural order of things ? Song charms the sen^e, 
&c. De Yemeuil told me, and I repeated it at a public 
dinner in London, much to the edification of my scientific 
iriends, that when they had extended the electric telegraph 
to the extent of the railroad, they carried it on from one tree 
to another in the aboriginal forest on trees from which the 
boughs had been lopped off. It gives a lively image of going 
ahead, which no Frenchman could have invented, least of all 
our quiet friend de Verneuil. Could you learn from one of 
your Boston law friends, whether in old colonial times the 
business of barrister and attorney was separated in New 
England, as it has always been in this country, or whether 
the union of the two grades was made to suit a more demo* 

134 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxV. 

cratic constitution. We suffer, in my opinion, from this 
marked line of demarcation. 

Ever, my dear Ticknor, yours most truly, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Geobge Ticenob, Esq. 

11 Harley Street^ London : September 26, 1847. 

My dear Ticknor, — Perhaps you have seen some notices 
in the * Athenaeum ' of a book by Hugh Miller called * First 
Impressions of England and its People.' Do read it, as we 
have been doing. He is the editor of the * Witness,' Free 
Kirk newspaper, has risen from being a common quarryman 
to be one of our best writers. If you are now and then 
startled at the inconsistency of his highly philosophical 
views on the connection of science and religion being held 
in the same mind with ultra-covenantic views on other points, 
you must remember that he is a sincere enthusiast in the 
Free Kirk line. I have been re-reading with care your letters 
on educational matters. It is clear that you have reached 
what I can never live to see accomplished in England — a suc- 
cessful raising up of a body of secular or lay teachers as 
schoolmasters and mistresses, having on an average the same 
scale of pay, and a similar position in society to the clergy. 
The average pay of the latter in New England it would, I 
suppose, be more difficult to ascertain, as there are so many 
sects ; and as they get presents, and have fees for marriages, 
burials, and christenings apart from their fixed salaries. If 
the most eminent lay teacher in England could hope to equal 
in salary the Archbishop of Canterbury, or if the latter could 
be levelled down to the standard, if something could be done 
to place secular and clerical teachers on the same social 
footing, we might get on and be emancipated from our 
trammels, and education proceed and move on with the spirit 
of the age, which it now lags behind. If it were equally gen- 
tlemanlike, men would take less and be lay teachers, so many 
ot the best have scruples in undertaking the clerical office, such 
as it is with us. Making the Bible a school-book here, and 
setting poor children to read Deuteronomy y is a proof that our 
Church teaching is not meant to open their minds. People 


will have education, so they manage thus by sham instruction 
to evade what they dread, t.e. the malsing them capable of 
thinking and reasoning. I believe the Bible is not a school- 
book with you. The success of the * ragged schools* in 
Edinburgh has been lamentably checked by the Presbyterians 
and their clergy insisting on the Bible, and this making the 
Catholic priests object to the Bomanist children attending, 
to whom it would have been of peculiar use. I am afraid 
that our clergy think they should lose influence if lay 
teachers were raised in schools. I imagine, on the contrary, 
that all the higher minds at least would gain. Here it 
is notorious that if you have three sons, and determine that 
they shall belong to the legal, medical, and clerical profes- 
sions, you would select the least talented as the safest for the 
Church. I hope the progress of popular education may one 
day change this. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His Father. 

Bowood : January 13, 1848. 

My dear Father, — I presented your * Dante's Lyrics,' ^ as 
you suggested, to Lord Lansdowne as from yourself this 
morning, and gave him also a nicely bound copy with the 
Italian on one side which is always much liked. 

Lord L. remembered your essay, not only because he 
reads and remembers all that comes out, but because Mr. 
Davenport used to talk for ever to him of Rossetti's views, 
and Lord L. had thought that Bossetti had gone too far. 
Lord L. also asked me what you thought of Ugo Foscolo's 
performance, which he had read and commented on. He 
skimmed through your last edition, and said the analysis 
prefixed to the Sonnets was most useful and necessary. He 
thought there was so much in what is now going on in Italy 
like the old contests of Guelphs and Ghibellines, that it 
was calculated to keep alive the interest of Dante's writ- 
ings. He begged me particularly to send his thanks for the 

* The Canzoniere of Dante AUghieri, and the Vita Ntiova and Contito, 
trar.slated by Charles Lyell, Senior, of Kinnordy, N.B. 

136 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxv. 

We found, what is always most pleasant, a small party. 
Lord Auckland and Macaulay having left to attend a Privy 
or Cabinet Council, the number at dinner being ten — our host 
and hostess, the Milmans, Mrs. Norton and her boy, a gentle- 
manlike young Etonian, Mr. Charles Austin, famed for having 
made more money in four years at the law than anyone 
ever did before, some say 40,000Z. a year, by railways, and 
Mr. Charles BuUer, M.P., who has now undertaken the poor 
law, and to be chief of the department. The conversation 
was very agreeable and without effort; Milman in good 
spirits though not strong, BuUer and Austin both very 
original and literary. Fielding's novels were discussed con 
amor By Dickens and Thackeray rather run down too much, 
till young Norton said he was * boiling;* Chaucer and 
Dryden ; and then Mrs. Norton, who is really almost as 
handsome as ever, very ladylike and clever, had an argu- 
ment with Milman, who maintained that translations of 
poems should be in verse and not * stilted prose * as he called 
all prose translations. 

Our party at Mr. Eogers* on Monday was brilliant, and 
no one engrossed too much. Mr. Empson, now editor of the 
'Edinburgh Review,' and Mrs. Empson (Miss Jeffrey), Hallam, 
Babbnge, Eastlake, and Mr. Luttrell ; the latter, though 
oldish now, came in now and then with his witty sayings. 
Lord Campbell's * Chancellors,' in which a letter of Lady 
Philip Francis, acknowledging her husband to be Junius, is 
given, brought up that old controversy, and Rogers confessed 
the truth of the tale, that when he was set on at Holland 
House to ask Sir Philip Francis if he might put a question to 
him, Sir Philip replied 'At your peril ! ' in so forbidding a tone, 
that Rogers retreated to the rest, and said * If he is Junius, 
it is Junius Brutus.* On some one calling in question the 
great superiority of Junius, Rogers cited in support of it an 
able passage on the difference between injuries and insults ; 
but Hallam said, * After all, there is nothing in Junius so 
powerful as the comment of Dr. Johnson on it, when he said 
" that some people mistake the venom of the shaft for the 
vigour of the bow." ' When Luttrell complained of cold, 
Hallam said, ' Don't let Rogers hear you, for his maxim is 
that no man can be cold except he be a fool or a beggar.' 

1848. FOSSIL BIRDS. 187 

The party are all going for a walk, so I must join them. 
Perhaps Mary will write to-morrow. 

Believe me, my dear father, your affectionate son, 

Chableb Ltell. 

To Charles Bunburt, Esq. [who was travelling in Italy), 

Bo wood : January 14, 1848. 

My dear Bunbury, — Your letter was most agreeable to 
me,^ especially as knowing something of that region of 
calcareous rocks in the south, and remembering the general 
aspect of the vegetation without having made out why it 
looked as it does, which your description of the part played 
by the different species of trees, shrubs, and plants, many of 
which I well remember, so well explains. I believe most of 
the limestone which we used to consider as part of the 
cretaceous series, with its nummulites, is now voted by many 
to be intermediate between Cretaceous and Eocene, but I 
should like to know more about that. I am very sorry 
that Susan's drawing-book was lost, as I am sure it con- 
tained many valuable memoranda.^ I am much pleased 
with her picture of Mary, and think the last touches im- 
proved it much. Eastlake says it is very well painted, 
much beyond any former work of hers, and as to likeness 
he added, * Unhappy as I have often thought the lot of the 
portrait painter, yet I do not believe that their plight is quite 
so miserable as that people should not be satisfied with such 
an excellent resemblance to the original as this.* My father 
has read your ' Botany of Southern Prance ' with much delight. 
The chief geological news is the arrival of eight hundred 
specimens of bones of fossil birds, in the most perfect state 
of preservation, from clefbs and caves of New Zealand, buried 
in loose volcanic sand. They belong to ten or more species 
of Moa, or Dinomis, one ten to twelve feet high. The 
skulls and eggs are found. The largest would have made a 

* Treating of the botany of the South of France. 

* His sister-in-law, Miss Homer, who had been in Rome with Mr. and Mrs. 
Bunbury, and who suffered shipwreck in the * Ariel,* off the Vado rocks, near 
Leghorn, and lost her drawings among other things. 

138 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxv. 

more gigantic footprint than the biggest of Hitchcock's 
Connecticut marks. Eastlake, whom I sat next to at Bogers' 
dinner, was, I find, much taken with Owen's article on 

* Paleontology ' (on Broderip) in the last * Quarterly Review.' 
Sir John Herschel's, on * Humboldt's Cosmos,' in the last 

* Edinburgh,* is also much thought of. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His SiSTEB. 

11 Harlej Street : February 7, 1848. 

My dearest Eleanor, — When we read your letter this 
morning, and saw how much you and the rest, including 
my dear mother, had been thinking of our lecture^^ in spite of 
so many of you being invalids, we were quite sorry that we 
did not some of us send a note on Saturday to say that it came 
off much to my satisfaction. The consciousness that no one 
else either in Europe or the United States could from actual 
observation have given the same account of the nature of 
the evidence, and what was genuine and what spurious, 
respecting the proofs of the first quadruped or air-breathing 
reptile ever found in such ancient rocks as the coal-strata, 
gave me confidence and spirit, as I knew it would be 
of interest to all the geologists present. It was, as Dr. 
Fitton remarked to Mary before I began, a glorious audi- 
ence, and the full benches made me perform with much 
more ease to myself. Before lecture, Faraday pleased me 
by some hints, and showing me his private memoranda for 
lectures, and telling me what I suspect he hardly ever did 
to anyone, part of his mechanism for timing the different 
parts. It is wonderful how much I had come by practice 
to the same results. He has given fifty or a hundred lec- 
tures to my one, and is the chief master of the art in Eng- 
land, to my mind. The number present, as noted down at 
the entrance, was 398, but it may have been more, as Mr, 
Barlow does not quite trust the new porter. 

With love to all, ever your affectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 

* Lcctnre at the Bojal Instltation, on a Beptile la the Coal-formation of the 


To His Sistee. 

Sunday, February 27, 1848. 

Dearest Marianne, — I must give you a few words on my 
party yesterday, as, if I lose any time, there is so much 
going on in these eventful times that I shall forget what 
passed. When I got to Sir R. Peel's, Bunsen was the only 
one arrived, so after making my bow to Lady Peel and her 
daughter, and shaking hands with my host, I heard the 
Prussian Ambassador give us a full account of a member of 
his embassy who had left Paris on the Thursday of the 
Revolution passing over barricades and having some hair- 
breadth escapes. Bunsen told us that there are some 80,000 
communists in Paris who are for property in common and no 
marriage, and who are much to be feared by those who 
have aught to lose. He (Bunsen) blamed Louis Philippe for 
not having seen some months ago that a moderate extension 
of the sutfrage could alone defer some catastrophe. The 
party which next came in were Faraday, Sir Stratford 
Canning, Buckland, Lord St. Germans, Owen, De la B^che, 
Sir Benjamin Brodie, Mr. Hamilton, Hallam, Sir James 
Graham, Dr. Mantell ; making with me and a young son of 
Sir Robert's seventeen ; the eighteenth or missing one was 
Lord Aberdeen, whose excuse came in after I got there. I 
sat between Buckland and Faraday, F. being next Peel, 
on whose other side was Hamilton, and next him Owen, and 
we had much pleasant talk, both tete-Ortete and we six all to- 
gether. After the ladies retired, I expected little more than 
a continuance of conversation with next neighbours ; but Sir 
Robert remaining in the same place, asked Bunsen to tell them 
his latest Paris news, which he did from near the top of the 
table, all questioning him. Then Sir Robert gave an account 
of what the French Ambassador had told him just two hours 
before, and I do not think I ever before remember fifteen 
persons exchanging so many ideas, chiefly because most of 
them were in different ways public men, and not afraid to 
hear the sound of their own voices, and partly from so many 
being well acquainted with nearly all the others. Sir S. 
Canning was asked what he thought would be the effect on 

140 Sm CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxv. 

Switzerland, from which he had just returned. Hallam 
talked a good deal with Bunsen, Graham, Peel, and Canning 
on the merits and demerits of Lamartine's new book on the 
Trench Eevolutionaiy period, the eflfect of which some of 
them regard as very mischievous, especially now. If Louis 
Philippe, even at the last hour, had on giving up Guizot 
chosen Thiers or some other eminent reformer, Barrot for 
example (neither of whom are republicans), instead of a con- 
servative like Mol^, his throne might perhaps have been 
saved, and if not to him, at least to his dynasty. I was 
struck with the little feeling the whole party had for him, 
though they were of course hoping he would escape. 
Hallam, who was intimate with Guizot when he was in 
London, and since at Paris, told me as he took me home in 
his carriage, how anxious he was about him and his safety. 
He said he could not defend his late career, but he liked him 

Sir Robert told us very clearly, at Brodie's request, two 
stories of bis having respited two different criminals, con- 
demned by the Judges on circumstantial evidence, both of 
whom, when Secretary for the Home Department, he proved 
to be guiltless. 

Believe me your affectionate brother, 

Charles Ltell. 

To His Sistee. 

March 16, 1848. 

At the Eomillys' party yesterday, we had a specimen of 
the monetary panic of Paris transferred to London ; not a 
few in the room, especially those connected with Geneva, 
having considerable investments in the French funds, canal 
shares, railroads, and having their political misgivings greatly 
heightened by their sensitiveness about the loss of their in- 
comes. Mr..Strutt, M.P., Mr. Wickham, of the Stamp OflBce, 
and their wives, Mr. Marcet, Dr. Roget, Mr. and Mrs. Kay 
Shuttleworth, Mr. Parker, of the Treasury. Shuttleworth 
told us that Mr. Jones Loyd, the great banker, had just 
informed him that his foreign broker had failed to negotiate 
a good bill on Vienna, and told him that at that moment 


there were only two important cities in all Europe, Hamburgh 
and Amsterdam, on which he was able to negotiate bills. So 
general a commercial disturbance was never known. Lord 
Normanby had just sent for 500 sovereigns to get on with, 
until specie was forthcoming in Paris. The general opinion 
seemed to be, that long before the 900 meet, or even before 
the elections begin, there will be a collision of parties. The 
day I dined with Sir R. Peel, when the Republic was just 
proclaimed, Sir Robert said there will be a financial crisis. 
But many here think that might have been avoided but for 
the measures of the Provisional Government, which frightened 
capitalists by increasing the burdens by 25,000 additional 
troops ; increased rations for sailors in the navy ; a promise 
to find work and wages for any one of the 35,000,000 that 
might want it ; one pound a day for every one of the 900 
until they had made a constitution ; paying one per cent, 
more for all money in the savings bank ; and no retrench- 
ment except of the civil employes. Against which we have to 
set the giving up the tax on the newspaper stamps, and a 
promise to give up the octroi of Paris. Mr. Empson, now 
editor of the 'Edinburgh Review,* remarked to me that 
either the whole world, writers on political economy, states- 
men and all, have been in their dotage up to this hour, and 
Louis Blanc has made the grandest discovery of the age, or 
they are the most arrant fools for promising to find work 
and wages, to give labourers the profit of capital. There are 
not a few who hope that after some extraordinary changes 
the country will right itself, for they have a plentiful harvest 
in prospect and vast resources, but it is an awful experi- 
ment and risk. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Sisteb. 

London: April 2, 1848. 

We went yesterday to see the studio of Lough the 
sculptor, who is a man, I think, of considerable genius, and 
has some spacious rooms filled with models, many of them 
colossal, such as ^ Milton's Satan,' and some which he made 
for the House of Lords, but did not succeed in his competi- 

142 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxv. 

tion. I think his model for the Nelson column, which was 
nearly chosen, for he missed it only by two votes, would have 
been very superior to that which gained the prize. A large 
statue of Nelson, without the cocked hat which now disfigures 
it, not placed out of sight in the clouds, with four statues of 
sailors at the four comers of the pedestal, and on the sides of 
this alto-relievos of sea-fights, &c. Among the company 
viewing the sculpture was Madame Bunsen, who told me 
that her husband had just received the official news of the 
fight in the streets of Berlin, and that instead of the news- 
paper story of 2,000 soldiers killed, there were only 140, and 
only four officers instead of forty, and they presume of the 
people in the same proportion. She flatters herself that the 
Government is now firmly established in Prussia. We 
had a pleasant party at Sir Edward Ryan*s ; • he in good 
spirits, and a young friend of his, about thirty, Mr. Gibbs, 
a lawyer, fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, well in- 
formed and lively ; Dr. Fitton in great force. I got him to 
refresh my memory with his story of a Dublin professor 
who said to his class, * Gentlemen, the Hon. Mr. Boyle 
was a great man ; he was the father of chemistry, and 
uncle to the Earl of Cork ; ' from which, says Fitton, his 
pupils worked out the conclusion that chemistry and the 
Earl of Cork were first cousins. At the Zoological Gardens 
to-day, we saw Broadhead, the Secretary of Legation, 
who told me there is no doubt that the Duke and Duchess 
of Montpensier went oflF in a huff. They called suddenly 
and unexpectedly on the Queen, not incog, but in their 
public capacity, when she was in a delicate state of health, 
and not knowing exactly what to do, and fearing she 
might commit herself, she very naturally sent off to Lord 
Palmerston to come directly, but before he got there, they 
had waited and waited till they got out of humour, and 
set off in about thirty hours afterwards, on their way to 
Rotterdam, whence they are said to have taken ship to St. 

• Late Chief Justice in Calcutta, from whence he returned in 1 843. He was 
made a member of the Privy Council and Civil Service Commissioner, and for 
his sound judgment and sense, his advice was sought by statesmen and others, 
and his genial nature was a delight to all who had the privilege of knowing 

1848. SJI^ EDWARD RYAN. 148 

Sebastian, and if Spain be in the state reported, thej will 
soon wish themselves back in London. The other day I had 
a short talk with the Bishop of Oxford, who said that Guizot 
had the merifc not only of writing history, but of making it. 
The first day that news came of the French having proclaimed 
their Republic, and among other things the Provisional 
Government having ordered troops to the frontiers, I met the 
Bishop of Llandaff at the Athenaeum, and he asked me what 
1 thought of the affair. I said it reminded me of the old 
cycle of political events, which the ancients were so fond of 
believing, upon which he repeated the lines : * emnt etiam 
altera bella; Atque iterum ad Trojam magnns mittetur 
Achilles ; * and he added, * I wonder who will be their great 
Achilles this time.' I told him probably some * petit caporal * 
of whom none of us have yet heard. The Swiss consul, John 
Prevost, remarked to me to-day, that one result is clear; 
most of the French capitalists and bankers are ruined. 

On Sir Edward Ryan's table were several handsome 
pieces of plate, after classical models, worked by native 
Hindoos, and with inscriptions intimating that they were 
given from gratitude to him (Sir Edward) for his exertions 
to schools and colleges for the education of the natives. Sir 
Edward told us when we were talking of modern orators, 
that he heard Lord Lansdowne speak for an hour on the 
sending an ambassador to Rome, and although it read well in 
the papers, it was far better in the delivery, as he was very 
animated and his action and manner so good. A petition is 
getting up for a royal commission to go to Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, and the signatures of fellows of colleges, and even 
of the clergy, are already most numerous. I have obtained 
a good many, and a pamphlet is just come out, quite in 
the spirit of my chapter on the * Universities,' by the Rev. 
Mr. Jowett and Mr. Arthur Stanley, son of the Bishop ot 
Norwich, which is excellent. A considerable reform at Cam- 
bridge is much agitated, but a little pressure from without is 
desirable, to aid the reformers within. A strong wish to 
revive the utility of Professor Smyth's Historical Professor- 
ship at Cambridge, is showing itself in the University. 

Ever affectionately, 

Chables Ltell. 

144 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. kxv. 

To His Sisteb. 

April, 1848. 

When I got to the council-room/ 1 found Sir Eobert Tnglis 
and his party mastering pretty strong. After De la Bfiche 
had spokpn in favour of scientific Presidents and a short 
term of office (two years), I seconded his motion, and as an 
argument against going on with aristocratic Presidents, as 
we have been doing so long, I pointed out that of forty-eight 
members of the Upper House who now sign F.E.S. to their 
names, and who may be taken as that part of our higher 
aristocracy who care most for science, not one ever wrote 
a single paper in the * Philosophical Transactions ' except 
Brougham, thirty-three years before he was made a peer. I 
then mentioned four or five exceptions, of men who like 
Lord Northampton, then in the chair, had a real feeling for 
science. I said I admired our peers as a body for their talent, 
but that mad'3 their neglect of science the more marked. 
It was owing to our University system, which also governed 
the great schools ; even Cambridge, while she put a powerful 
instrument into the hands of a student, gave him no taste 
for its application, and, like Oxford, shunned the progressive 
sciences. I have no wish to disparage our aristocracy as a 
political body, nor wish them to have less social rank, but 
why do homage to a body that care for and know so little 
about science? Inglis and Hopkins spoke at full length on 
the other side, and it ended in our agreeing not to divide. 
We gave up insisting on two years' limitation, while they 
agreed not to insist on permanency ; that science should have 
its turn at least, which as we have a majority they could not 
help ; and finally that Colonel Sabine and Mr. Lyell be ap- 
pointed a deputation to go down to Sir John HerschePs, iu 
Kent, to try and persuade him to be President. Whether 
we succeed or not, it is a point gained that it should be 
offered to science, and if he declines, we will try some other. 
Faraday's health makes him out of the question. A great 
many of us are for Eobert Brown. 

Chasles Lyell. 

» Of the Royal Society. 

iS4«. SiSMONDA. 145 

To Chaeles Bunbuet, Esq. 

May, 1848. 

My dear Bunbury, — If I have not written to you for 
some time, it is because the affairs of the Boyal Society, still 
in a state of transition, have occupied my leisure moments. 
Trying in vain to get Herschel and Faraday to be Presidents, 
then to stir up Robert Brown's courage to let us assert a 
principle in nominating him, then ending with getting Lord 
Bosse to say he would stand, then choosing the fifteen out 
of all the candidates for the year, then a new secretary 
(Grove, I hope), and various reforms against a set of obstruc- 
tives, compared to whom Metternich was, I presume, a pro- 
gressive animal. When Sismonda, who has made a beautiful 
map of Sardinia, came here, I immediately asked him if he 
would lay before you all the evidence from fossil plants of the 
supposed occurrence of carboniferous species in the lias; He 
told me he wished much to do so, that it was high time that 
Adolphe Brongniart's first dicta thereupon should be recon- 
sidered, and that he had the only complete collection, and 
all of them should be submitted to you. He thinks the 
problem, as I do, the most puzzling and curious of all the 
theoretical points yet undecided in Geology, and worth a 
journey to Italy by any competent botanist like you,, whose 
papers he knows, as he takes in our Journal. He is not 
quite satisfied that Brongniart has gone critically into the 
affair, though I suspect you found that he had, yet Sismonda 
has got together great materials since that. 

You will be glad to hear that Owen, after seeing Gold- 
fuss's published account, entirely confirms all that Falconer 
told us of the true reptilian character of those fossils in 
the coal of Saarbriick, for the age of which V. Decken 

So now, besides my Pennsylvanian footsteps we have 
a.bout three species recognised by their bones, skull vertebr® 
and all, of an order which according to the theory of progres- 
sive development came in only with the Permian. But they 
will merely shift their starting point, and never take warning. 
Owen told me yesterday, that Bunyeep now turns out to be a 


146 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxv. 

foal and not a calf, and I believe I shall have to make out 
the sea-serpent to be a shark. 

Ever your aflTectionate brother-in-law, 

Chaeles Ltell. 

To Chaeles Bunbuet, Esq. 

Kinnoidy : Augnst 2, 1848. 

My dear Bunbury, — We have been following you with 
much interest in your journey through Tuscany and the land 
of musquitoes and robbers, and I was very glad to receive 
here your letter to me, in which, among other matters, you 
mention an entomological confirmation of a story I have often 
told, till the wonder it excited began to make me doubt it my- 
self. I took a large dragon-fly (if I am not mistaken, (Eshna 
juncaea)^ and having carefully eviscerated it, put a straw, secun- 
dum artem, inside the abdomen to keep it distended. Before I 
impaled it, the creature, which had been stunned by a blow 
(in the thorax, I presume), recovered, and flew out of the 
window. I ran out and watched it to the roof of the house, 
when the wind taking it, it sailed oflF in ^rand style, the 
straw seeming just to balance the lost weight of viscera. 
But I admire your cicada much more for doing without a 
make-weight. You inquire about Joseph Hooker. The last 
piece of news is enough to make your mouth water. He 
had found three new species of Magnolia in the Himalaya 
mountains in one day. His father has printed a letter in 
the ^Botanical Magazine,' with amusing gossip about the 
journey through Egypt with Lord Dalhousie, Aden, and 
Madras, where they were received (the Governor-General and 
suite) in state, and a few passing notes on the plants and 
fossil forest in the desert. 

I have walked with Mary to the site (still the only one) 
of the Linnwa borealisy which now measures 13 feet 3 inches 
in a north and south direction, and 19 feet east and west. 
By-and-by I shall compare it with its size in former years, 
and we will see if we can calculate back to the day when 
some grouse or emberiza, driven down by cold from the 
Grampians, and burrowing for blackberries in the snow, 
rubbed oflF one of the minute seeds from their feathers in the 


spot where you were destined to see it so soon after you had 
dismounted from your steed in 1844. It was in full flower 
in the end of June, when Katharine * paid it a visit, and 
picked some of it. At Sir Philip Egerton's we saw a large 
sheet of water entirely covered with the leaves and yellow 
flowers of Menyanthes nymphwfolia. I am glad you saw 
Targioni, and hope you will have found Sismonda at home. 
I am glad you saw the Brazilian ferns of Baddi, as I have no 
doubt you gained new ideas. My father received your letter 
from Florence, which we all read with much pleasure. The 
foraminifera of the Sienna marls are innumerable as I am 
well aware, and I have seen recent marl from the Mediterra- 
nean oflF the delta of the Nile, equally full of recent species. 

August 3. — I have just been reading an extract in the 
last * Edinburgh Review ' (art. on * Sharpe's Egypt *) from 
Miss Martineau's * Egypt,' certainly one of the most eloquent 
in the English language. If Harriet should be excommuni- 
cated for certain doctrines boldly put forth in this the most 
able work she has produced, it is certainly better worth 
being a martyr for than her mesmerism. Joseph Hooker 
was shown in Malta some of the huge Miocene fossil shark's 
teeth as having been those of St. Paul. If the Apostles 
had a succession of teeth through life, like the SqualidsB, 
without a proportional quantity of toothache, from which I 
have been suffering for the last week, I envy them their 
gifts. I shall be glad if you return by the Simplon, as, having 
seen it twice, I should like to see it often again, whereas I 
am quite satisfied with the Mont Cenis, although the Italian 
ascent of that pass is very interesting. As we shall be talk- 
ing of new * Quarterlies ' and * Edinburghs ' when you return, 
I may as well mention that Milman wrote the article on * Pope 
Ganganelli ' in the last * Quarterly Eeview,' with which my 
father Is much delighted, and Guizot that on the * State of 
Religion in France,' translated by Mrs. Austin, with which I 
have been much interested. Carlyle is said to have written 
the entertaining article on * Goldsmith ' in the * Edinburgh,' 
and I know that Francis Newman wrote that on ' Tests,' and 
Peacock that on * Herschel.' 

• His sister-in-law, Mrs. H. Lyell. 

L 2 

148 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxv. 

With my love to Frances, believe me, my dear Bunbury, 
ever your affectionate brother-in-law, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Leonabd Hoener, Esq. 

Kinnordy : September 11, 1848. 

My dear Homer, — As there is nothing in this morning's 
(Friday's) Gazette, there may be in that of Tuesday. The 
delay has I presume been caused by Lord Lansdowne's having 
left town for Bowood. I send you an extract from Lord 
Lansdowne's letter, that you may understand how the matter 
stands : ^ I have thought it on consideration so fit in the 
distinguished situation you occupy, and with your scientific 
reputation, that you should receive the distinction of knight- 
hood, that I took it upon myself to mention the subject to 
the Queen, and T have her Majesty's authority to state that 
she will most willingly confer it upon you, and she under- 
stands that it is without any solicitation on your part. Had 
you been near London, I sliould have proposed to you to 
attend the Council on Monday for that purpose, but it can be 
gazetted without your attendance.' 

Ever yours affectionately, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Gideon Mantell, Esq. 

Kinnordj, Kirriemuir, N.B. : September 24, 1848. 

My dear Mantell, — Although at the southern extremity 
of the island, you are the first person, excepting a member 
of my own family, who has addressed a letter to me under 
my new denomination, and I thank you sincerely for your 
congratulations. The manner in which the honour was con- 
ferred, both on the part of the Ministers and the Queen, has 
been such as every scientific friend would approve of, and I 
had a most agreeable geological exploring on the banks of 
the Dee, into which Prince Albert entered with much spirit. 
I am sure your lectures in the Isle of Wight will have sown 
some good seed, for the Milmans, to whom I lent your book, 
have been profiting by it in their examinations of Purbeck, 
and speak of it most approvingly. I am glad to hear of the 


new discoveries, and that the two papers for the Boyal 
Society are getting ready. By staying in town, I and a few 
others Hatter ourselves we have pnt at the end of the session 
the printing and referring of papers on a better footing for 
the future, though we have still much to do. The Royal 
Society council work is no sinecure to those who have a re- 
forming spirit. I have hitherto missed no meeting since I 
was elected. 

Believe me, with my wife's kind remembrances, ever, my 
dear Mantell, yours most truly, 

Charles Lyell. 

To His Sister* 

London, 1848. 

My dear Marianne, — Mary has given you the journal of 
our late proceedings, but has not had room for any par- 
ticulars, and I have not time, as I should like to have, were 
it only to refresh my memory, to tell you of some of the 
people we have met and the things they said. 

Few dinners have pleased me more than that at Dr. 
Whately*s. Fortunately two M.P.'s, I know not who they 
were, did not come, but sent their excuses just before we sat 
down, it being the second night of the debate on Church 
Bates and of the division. This reduced the party to six, a 
number who could all talk together, and could not talk party 
politics, an excellent representation of France and of 
America, and the Archbishop, a strange compound of an 
Oxford Churchman grafted on Ireland, and full of informa- 
tion ajbout all that is going on there, which he views with 
interest more as a political economist than in any other light, 
as far as I could judge. 

Mr. Dewer is a lawyer of considerable practice in New 
York, now deputed to arrange some banking concerns be- 
tween the United States and England. He wrote the first 
good digest of American law. His good temper, I would 
almost say magnanimity, in talking to De Beaumont on the 
tender question of slavery in America, considering what a 
satire ^ Marie' contains, struck me much. We talked 
of Miss Martineau's book, parts of which must be very 

150 SII^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxv. 

clever. The Archbishop said, that if women ever became 
invested with political rights here, it might be well to have 
two Houses, and let the women vpeah in one and the men 
vote in the other, for since the Irish members have got in, he 
saw no other way of economising time. Dr. Whately is a 
great philologist. When on such subjects he said, *De 
Beaumont, you have no word for " home." ' De Beaumont 
said, ' No, perhaps because we have less of the thing than 
you have. We have said of late, " mon chez moi," " son chez 
soi," but that is very clumsy ; and then you have another 
word, '* job," which we cannot translate; it is a sublime 
word that — God knows we have the thing.^ The Archbishop 
was philosophising on the cause of their not having the word 
*job,' and said that their representative form of govern- 
ment was so new, and in a pure monarchy there were fewer 
true jobs. De Beaumont said, * Certainly there are no jobs 
under an absolute despotism ; because it is all one great job, 
and there is no room for small ones.' De Beaumont gave us 
an amusing account of his wonder at the aristocratic manners 
of society in England as contrasted with France, and its 
effects on social intercourse, in which he saw clearly enough 
what was absurd and ridiculous. Dr. Whately explained to 
him why Englishmen, being in fact socially disposed, were 
obliged to be stiff to strangers, because all were trying to 
hang upon and be pulled up by the skirts of those above 
them. When De Beaumont asked how many grades there 
were in society, the Archbishop said, * I cannot say how low 
it goes, but the other day some chimney-sweepers presented 
a petition to the Lord Mayor against others who had in- 
truded themselves into their privilege of dancing, &c., on 
May day, and in this petition they said " that certain dust- 
men and other low fellows, pretending to be chimney-tfweepers,*^ 
&c., so the degrees of rank probably descend even below the 
dustmen.' A very interesting discussion arose about the 
effects of the French, American, and English laws of the 
division of property as contrasted with each other. De Beau- 
mont defended the system of division so far as agriculture 
was concerned, which Dr. Whately was most afraid of. I 
then asked De Beaumont whether he did not feel already that 
the small fortunes in France enabled a wealthy Government 


to bribe the majority, not only of the electors, but even of those 
elected. He said, * Yes ; but then we must greatly increase 
the number of electors, and we may do that safely when 
millions become landed proprietors, no matter how small their 
estates.' I objected that still the Government could offer 
irresistible bribes to the majority of the deputies, which was 
impossible when there were so many large fortunes as in 
England. When I had thus driven him home, he began a 
sort of confession, having previously seemed determined to be 
an optimist on French affairs. He said, ^ I grant you that it 
is equality rather than liberty that we are tending to ; the 
wide distribution of property is raising the morale of the great 
mass of our population above yours, and it is producing a 
centralisation force in the Government ; but this must end, 
I fear, in the central power being so great there is an end to 
that liberty which I believe nothing but an aristocracy can 
preserve.' The Archbishop brought out a pamphlet to prove 
that in one district near Paris the average property of eleven 
thousand landed proprietors was the quarter of an English 
acre each, and he began imagining, when the division had 
gone farther, a question of law arising as to whether a hunts- 
man had committed a trespass by clearing his neighbour's 
estate at one leap. Dewer denied that the equal division in 
America was producing smaJl properties, which he sup- 
posed must arise from the rapidity with which large fortunes 
were daily made, and the new lands obtained in the new 

At our party at Mr. Whitmore's yesterday, the Arch- 
bishop told us one of the late Lord Norbury's puns. The two 
curates of St. George's Chapel, Dublin, were then, and are 
now, Mr. Short and Mr. Bridge — and very long-winded 
preachers. Lord N., on being asked how he liked them, 
said ^ he could wish that Bridge was shortened, and Short 

With love to all, your affectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 

152 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxvi. 


JANUARY 1849~JULT 1851. 


[He was re-elected President of the Geological Society in February 
1849, and during his term of office communicated two important 
papers, * On Craters of Denudation, with Observations on the Struc- 
ture and Growth of Volcanic Cones,' and * On Fossil Bain-Marks of the 
recent Triassic and Carboniferous Periods.' He published his ' Second 
Visit to the United States of North America ' this year, and he pre- 
sided over the Geological Section at the British Association at Bir- 

in 1850 he became one of the Boyal Commissioners for the first 
Great Exhibition, which was opened in Hyde Park on May 1, 1851. 
Sir Charles Lyell gave several lectures at the Royal Institution and 
elsewhere during these years.] 

To His Father. 

11 Harley Street : January 11, 1849. 

My dear Father, —Mary lias, I believe, told you that I 
was clever enough to scald my foot, and was getting well, 
but walked so many miles yesterday that I am now a 
prisoner for a day. I put a finishing stroke by walking to 
St. James* Street to attend a meeting of the Graphic Society, 
to which a committee of artists had invited me. There I 
found Ruskin, Eastlake, Boxall, and other artists and ama- 
teurs, Hallam, Babbage, Sir R. Inglis, Bishop of Oxford, 
and saw some very beautiful drawings by Turner, and by one 

1849. DJ^' HOOKER IN INDIA. 153 

Knowles, of the Parthenon, and heard good talk about 
Phidias, and how he would be astonished to see the black 
stains caused by smoking chimneys of cottages, and red stains 
of iron on the columns, instead of his azure and gold ; and 
how, if Lord Elgin had not bribed the Pasha, the French 
Consul would, and had both lefb the sculpture, time would 
have destroyed more than half ere this. I am getting on 
steadily with my work, and we have finished vol. i. of 
Macaulay, though frequently referring back to it, to read 
again favourite passages. Longman is stereotyping it, en- 
couraged by the rapid sale. There is a higher moral tone in 
it, and less party feeling, than in any of his reviews, and it 
is the result of an amount of reading and of remembering 
what he has read, which is wonderful to think of. 

Sir William Hooker has been corresponding with Charles 
Bunbury, and tells him that Joseph Hooker was going under 
escort of a guard from the Bajuh of Nepaul to ascend the 
highest mountain, more than 28,000 feet hi^h, and that he 
tells him that since he lefb the plains of India, no less than 
four of his (J. H.'s) intimate friends have died, and among 
them Mr. Williams the geologist. This intelligence comes 
home to me, for when I drew up, after several communi- 
cations with Lord Auckland, my address to the East India 
Board on sending out a geologist to India, I pointed out 
that every one of five geologists whom they had sent out 
had been cut off in the prime of life, for want of aid in 
assistants, elephants, steamers, &c., which could alone enable 
them safely and effectively to perform their mission ; and I 
protested, with De la BSche, against the best of his practical 
men (the said Williams) being sent out on a forlorn hope. 
He has done his business, poor fellow, well, put them in the 
way of working rich mines of coal, and is now left like his 
predecessors to die in a ditch. Heaven grant that poor 
Joseph Hooker may be spared, but I dread Assam and 
Borneo, and would rather have the work on the Antarctic 
regions and still unpublished notes than all the magnolias 
in the Himalaya. His last paper on fossil botany is much 
thought of. With love to all at Kinnordy, 

Believe me, my dear father, your ever affectionate son, 

Chables Ltell. 

154 S/H CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvl 

To Geobge Tickkob, Es<^ 

February 7, 1849. 

My dear Ticknor, — Agaseiz' lectures on * Embryology * 
interested us much, and the sale of them astonishes our 
naturalists. We have read Macanlay with much delight. 
Ifc is a great proof of his genius that he makes one feel as if 
present at the scenes he describes, and as if one had lived in 
those times, almost as much as in reading Pepys' ^ Diary.' 
There is a want of generosity T think in regard to Penn and 
some others, not that one wishes to have their delinquencies 
concealed, but the characters of such men, and of Marl- 
borough, ought to be allowed to unfold themselves, and they 
ought not to be drawn before the events are related for 
which they are so unsparingly condemned. I had an argu- 
ment with Macaulay about the atrocious crimes which he 
says God commanded the Israelites to perpetrate. All he 
could say was that he was on ^ the orthodox ' side, and that 
according to my view * the God of the Old Testament differed 
from the God of the New,' and that if I merely thought 
that the Israelites believed they were acting under God's 
special command when they hewed Agag in pieces, and that 
they were mistaken, I should be obliged to renounce their 
history and the prophets. 

That he himself believed it he neither said nor the con- 
trary, but certainly he need not have written that passage 
about the Puritans in such strong terms. As Francis New- 
man, the brother of the great Tractarian who has gone over to 
Bome, takes the lead here of our rationalists, so the brother 
of the Puseyite saint, Mr. Froude of Oriel, who died and 
left some curious memoirs, has come out with a book called 
the * Nemesis of Faith,' not very short of Theodore Parker's 
opinions, and written not without ability. As he is a 
lay fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, it remains to be seen 
whether they v^ill or can expel him. 

I have been very busy with my inauguration dinner as 
President of the Geological Society, and succeeded in 
getting the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Sumner, author 
of * Eecords of Creation,' a geologico- theological work). Sir 


Robert Peel, Van de Weyer, and a great many M.P.'s and 
notabilities to come, so that the speaking is allowed to be 
the most brilliant we ever had at any anniversary. Sedg- 
wick spoke very eloquently, and Peel; and the Arch- 
bishop made a straightforward and manly speech. I have 
been returning the Archbishop's call to-day, and was much 
struck with the magnificent appearance which the new 
houses of the Legislature, or the * Palace of Westminster,* 
make from the Lambeth bank of the river. When will you 
come and see the new creation, in the old florid gothic siyle, 
grouping beautifully with the towers of Westminster 
Abbey ? Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Kinnordy : July 29, 1849. 

My dear Horner, — I return you Empson's letter with 
many thanks. His commendations and Lord Jeffrey^s are a 
reward for taking pains with the book, and if, like an 
achromatic telescope, it has presented objects as they are, 
without imparting to them any colouring of its own, I may 
feel gratified by that compliment. I fear, however, that the 
strong anti-slavery movement in New England, from a 
natural desire at this moment to stop the spread and acces- 
sion of new Slave territory, is causing them so to misre- 
present the real state of the South, and the negroes, that 
they will write against that part of my work. I have just 
finished reading this morning your first anniversary address, 
which is excellent. Your criticism of Agassiz where he 
disputes all identification of recent and fossil species is well 
put. You ought to have seen him at Southampton on our 
dredging expedition. E. Forbes showed him some of the 
varieties of common shells, which occur also fossil in the red 
crag, and which Agassiz had declared were not varieties, 
but extinct species. When he was convinced that the same 
varieties flourished now, he said * if Lyell would give up half 
his percentage doctrines, he would give up half his objections,' 
or something to that effect. 

Believe me ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

156 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxvi. 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Blrkhall : September 3, 1849. 

My dear Homer, — I have been spending my time in a 
very enjoyable and by no means uninstmctive way here, and 
have felt all my visiting at Balmoral, in the whole course of 
which there has not been a single drawback, not only 
pleasant, but I hope useful, as helping forward that taste for 
natural history and science which is intended to form a part 
of tbe education of the young people, and expected to prove 
a resource to them. What Van de Weyer said of the steady 
development of Prince Albert's mind, in a great variety of 
directions, I had been able more to appreciate. His German 
reading on serious subjects makes him an improving com- 
panion to one who is not versed in what is going on in that 
world, and I had much good talk with him alone, on a 
variety of grave subjects, as well as on the different insects 
which belong to Switzerland, the Isle of Wight, and Scotland 
respectively. That he knew so much about these was quite 
a new light to me. I had two long walks with Mr. Birch 
and his pup?l. Lord John Russell made himself very agree- 
able to me, and I like the rest of the household. There 
reigns a strong wish to live here in privacy, which is most 
wholesome to the mind, after such a life of representation. 
The Prince has just finished Macaulay, and his discussion of 
it with me was one of many fruitful subjects for comparing 
notes and opinions. 

With love to all at Eivermede, ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To His Sisteb-in-Law, Miss Hobneb. 

Kinnordy : September 6, 1849. 

My dearest Susan, — I told your father that I would send 
you a little gossip of our late tour on Deeside, during which 
I had some good geological work on some remarkable hills 
composed entirely of serpentine in Glen Muick, and some 
botanising, with much useful and healthy exercise, in addi- 
tion to agreeable companionship with the Clarks, perCy merey 
and filsy and parts of three days which I spent at Balmoral. 

1849. TOUR ON DEESIDE, 157 

The day I went to dine there, Saturday last, I had first a 
Ions: walk — Sir James Clark and I — with Mr. Birch ® and his 
pupil, a pleasing, lively boy, whose animated description of 
the conjuror, or Wizard of the North, whom they had seen a 
few days before, was very amusing. * He (the wizard) had cut 
to pieces mamma's pocket-handkerchief, then darned it and 
ironed it, so that it was as entire as ever ; he had fired a 
pistol, and caused five or six watches to go through Gibb's 
(one of their footmen) head, and all were tied to a chair on 
Gibb's other side,' and so forth ; * but papa (Prince Albert) 
knows how all these things are done, and had the watches 
really gone through Gibb's head he could hardly have looked 
so well, though he was confounded.' Sometimes I walked 
alone with the child, who asked me the names of plants, and 
to let him see spiders, &c., through my magnifying glass, 
sometimes with the tutor, whom I continue to like more as 
I become better acquainted. After our ramble of two hours 
and a half through some wild scenery, I was sent for to join 
another party, when I found the Queen, Prince, and Lord 
John, by a deep pool on the river Dee, fishing for trout 
and salmon. 

On the way home we visited the quarry with the trap 
dike cutting through limestone, and producing garnets, 
which I found out last year, and I talked a little about it. 
After the Queen had entered the Castle, the Prince kept me 
so long, and we kept one another so late, talking on all kinds 
of subjects, that a messenger came from her Majesty saying 
it was only a quarter of an hour to dinner-time. 

After the ladies had gone to the drawing-room, we had 
much lively talk, which the Prince promoted greatly, telling 
some amusing stories himself, and encouraging others by 
laughing at theirs. Lord John Eussell, and Lord Portman 
and myself, had nearly the whole talk to ourselves, but anyone 
who chose could cut in. Sir J. Clark was not well, and could 
not dine with us. I played whist in the evening with Colonel 
Gordon, Mr. Anson, and Mr. Farquharson of Invercauld. 

Next day I went to church, and we heard a good prac- 
tical sermon on good works by Mr. Anderson, who has none 
of that shyness attributed to him by the * Times ' correspond- 

* Tator to the Prince of Wales, who was then not eight years old. 

158 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxvi. 

ence. The prayer for the parish, magistracy, Queen and 
royal family, judges, ministers of religion, parliament, and 
whole nation, was just such as you would have liked, and in 
excellent taste, with nothing which a republican jealous of 
equality could, I think, have objected to, and which I believe 
our sovereign and her husband would thoroughly appreciate 
the simplicity of- They shoved the box on the end of a long 
pole to Queen and Prince and maids of honour, as to all the 
rest of the congregation, and each dropped in their piece of 
coin. After church I had much conversation alone with 
Prince Albert, whose mind is in full activity on a variety of 
grave subjects while he is invigorating his body with field 
spoi'ts. Charles Bunbury has just summoned me to take a 
geological walk with him. Caroline has just come in, in 
great glee, to announce the discovery, for the first time, of 
Orthotrichum Lyeliii * in fruit, which Charles Bunbury admits 
is a grand find. 

Believe me, with love to all. 

Ever your a£Pectionate brother, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Chakles Bunbuet, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London: January 17, 1860. 

My dear Bunbury, — I have been so busy with my anni- 
versary speech that I have had no time to thank you for 
your letter. There was a good discussion, and Darwin 
adopts my views as to Mauritius, St. Jago, and so-called 
elevation craters, which he has examined, and was puzzled 

I am much pleased to hear that you have paid my * Second 
Visit ' a compliment which I fear I rarely pay any modern 
book, that of re-reading it. I believe if you visited the 
United States, and stayed long enough, above all, if you re- 
visited it after a lapse of five years, you would feel exhilarated, 
as I did, at the rapid rate of general progress in wealth, order, 
intelligence, education, and rational (or at least more rational) 
ideas of government in so brief a period. I am told by my 
correspondents that I should now find things greatly improved 

* A moss named after Mr. Lyell, senior. 


siace 1846, even in literature. For example, my friend 
Ticknor has come out with three large thick octavo volumes 
on the * History of the Literature of Spain,' the work of his 
life, of which Hallam, Milman, Ford, and Lord Mahon speak 
in very high terms, and which I have read scraps of with 
much pleasure. Murray says that such a book could scarcely 
here do more than pay its expenses, 750 copies being as much 
as he dares reprint. Now three diflFerent booksellers oflFered 
Ticknor for the use, for one year, of his stereotype plates, 
5,000 dollars, and Harper, of New York, at last gave 5,250, 
or above 1,000 guineas. This, Ticknor says, could not have 
been done in 1846. 

As to California, so many New Englanders are gone there, 
who, with emigrants from New York, &c., all understand 
each other, that they govern and legislate for all the rest, 
and have improvised a constitution far superior to any of 
the new ones planned and overthrown, or now on trial in the 
last two years in Europe. The determination not to have 
slavery bespeaks a wholesome prevalence of Northern men. 
In France I fear the new law of schools will place them far 
too much under the Catholic priesthood, and the same cause 
will prevent the Italians from becoming fit for representative 
government, and they will be voted incapable because those 
above them are determined they shall remain children. But 
periodical revolutions such as we have witnessed of late are 
the lamentable alternative of not acting honestly towards 
the millions, and having no faith in human progress. 

I am glad you have planned your new book. Adolphe 
Brongniart's article on the genera of fossil plants ^ is a mas- 
terly production so far as T can judge. It is only by this 
double view, first botanical, then geological and chronolo- 
gical, that the subject can be thoroughly exhausted. There 
is some hope even for the Old World, when such essays can 
appear under an experimental republic with universal suf- 

Agassiz, I am told, is about to marry a young lady of 
good Boston connections. If so, he will be a New Englander 
for the rest of his life, and will be the founder of a school of 

' Tableau det genres de vegHaux foifUeif 1840, extrait du Dictiannaire Uni' 
v^selle d'tiistirire NatuTcUe, 

160 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxvi. 

zoology (for he has many pupils) of a high order, as he 
teaches them to dissect and go into all the minutise. His 
enthusiasm is catching, especially when he has a good soil 
to work upon. 

Believe me, my dear Bunbury, 

Ever affectionately yours, 


To Leonabd Hobkeb, Esq. 

Berlin : August 8, 1850. 

My dear Homer, — The Brocken Inn, where we slept four 
days ago, is a curious sign of the length of time that the 
Germans have been lovers of travelling for the sake of ad- 
miring natural scenery. It has been built fifty years, its 
foundations standing 3,500 feet above the level of the sea, in 
the latitude of London or thereabouts, and the spot being 
buried some nine months of the year under deep snow. It 
is solely for the pleasure of those who admire wild scenery, 
who like to take two chances of an extensive view from a 
summit usually enveloped in vapour* and to see the sun rise 
or set, if they cannot do both, as we did. I was very desirous 
of testing by an examination of this mountain the grounds 
of Von Buch's theory of the granite here having come up 
* in a bubble,' and his singular notion that its dome-shaped 
form and even outline support this hypothesis. Now close 
to the said Brocken House is one of those tabular masses 
which we have at the top of many a Grampian Hill, of 
granite, and which corresponds to the Cornish tor, the rock 
decomposing in tabular masses. It is called the Witches' 
Altar, twenty feet hi^h, and about two or three miles from 
this I found the Schnarcher, which I understand are men- 
tioned in Goethe's * Faust,' to consist of two magnificent 
tors of granite, the highest of the pair being 100 feet high, 
and showing unequivocally to what an extent denudation has 
gone, and how absurd it would be to imagine that the pre- 
sent surface is the original one of the mass of granite here 
exposed. Lonsdale's remarks, unpublished I believe, of the 
modem tors now forming in the granitic Scilly Islands, show 
how the sea is producing similar outstanding peninsulas or 

1 85a VISIT TO GERMANY. 161 

* drongs/ as they call them, in the Shetland Isles. I have 
no doubt that the Devonian slates once enveloped the top, 
as they do now the sides of the Brocken. So much for this 

* bubble.' Its indefatigable author is on a pedestrian tour 
in Switzerland, as Ritter tells me, so I have left my card 
only at his door. The upper chalk of St. Peter's Mount,* to 
go back to the beginning of this tour, is very beautifully dis- 
played, and a young pharmacien of Maestricht, Bosquet, 
author of a paper on fossil tertiary species of Cypris, was an 
excellent guide, showing me where the change from our 
chalk fossils began. He and his master had a fine collection 
of shells, reptilians (monitor of Maestricht, huge turtles, &c.) 
to show us. De Koninck, at Li^ge, is ^first-rate paleonto- 
logist, and gave me a great insight into the carboniferous 
and tertiary formations of the region. I was glad to observe 
between Aix-la-Chapelle and Cologne, how the railway-cut- 
ting exhibited the loess and its associated gravel and sand 
at the watershed between the basin of the Mouse and Rhine. 
But think of my surprise when I got north to the Porta West- 
phalica, and foimd, 500 feet above the level of the Weser, on 
the inclined oolitic beds, 700 (?) feet above the sea, a patch of 
loess, just like our old friend on the Rhine, and full of the 
three shells figured in my * Elements ' as the most common, 
SiLccinea oblonga, half freshwater. Helix plebeian and Pupa mus- 
corum. Strombach of Brunswick, and the elder Roemer of 
Clausthal in the Hartz, were much surprised to hear of this 
find of mine. To explain it will, I suspect, require some 
changes of level which have not entered into the calculation 
of many here, who think the Scandinavian drift of the North- 
em plains the last geological phenomenon of importance to be 
accounted for. Charles Bunbury will be interested to learn 
that the newest examination of the shells of the six divisions 
of the Devonian of the Hartz leads Roemer to think that 
none of the older beds (slates, limestone, Ac.) of this chain 
are so new as the coal. Sedgwick and Murchison thought 
the uppermost of the divisions might be carboniferous. Now 
in this are numerous plants, Lepidodendrons, one Astrophyl- 
lite, Calamites, but all save one Calamite perhaps, of distinct 
species. This would help to confirm Goeppert's view as to 

* Near Maestricht. 

162 SII^ CHARLES LVELL. chap. xxvi. 

the specific distinctness of his Silesian flora of the Old Red. 
Goeppert has lately seen the Hartz flora, and says the species 
are not carboniferous. This would harmonise well with the 
close analogy in generic types, and the distinctness in species 
of the fauna of the Old E^d when compared with that of the 
coal. An excursion with Strorabach to an anticlinal axis 
called Asse, near Brunswick, was most instructive. It is clear 
that the keuper and chalk were formed in connected basins 
extending from England to North Germany. So was the 
Wealden, which supplied first-rate shining coal for the steam- 
engines at Minden and elsewhere, our locomotives, * Bliicher * 
and others, which carried us along twenty miles an hour over 
the vast drift-covered and sand-covered plains of the * uber- 
geschwemmtes land.' Yet ridicule was thrown by us for 
seekers after coal in the Wealden, where the limits of the 
same vast delta existed. The needles of a pine are as mani- 
fest in some of this Hanoverian Weald coal as are ferns, 
Sigillarise, &c., in the older Stein coal. As to the botany of 
the Hartz, it seemed a tame affair after the White Moun- 
tains, and it was impossible not to compare them as we rode 
up from a woody region to a bare summit of granite covered 
with the same Lichen geogmphicus. The spruce fir, with 
scarce any intermixture even of birch, covers the hills, and up 
to the very top some dwarf trees are seen, or so near that 
I believe if sheltered they might grow much higher. At the 
summit a white anemone new to us was still sparingly in 
flower, and plenty of it in seed covered the ground. There 
are also Trientalis Europcea in fruit, Oalium saxatile^ Gnd- 
phaluim {dioicum9) in flower, besides the commonest Lyco- 
podium. Lichen rangiferinum and islandicusy with several 
vulgar plants, such as Ranunculus flammula and Calluna vuU 
jarisy also the cranberry Vaccinium, 

What most surprised me in the Hartz geologically, high 
and low, granite and limestone, marble or trap, whether at 
700 or 3,500 above the sea, was the total absence of all 
glacial marking, whether polishing, or furrowing, or stria- 
tion, or roches moutonnSeSj or erratics. Such a contrast to 
the southernmost part of Sweden or corresponding latitudes 
in North America ! Yet some of the Scandinavian drift 
reaches the southern base of the chain. 


I find there is Eocene tertiary under the drift in the en- 
virons of Berlin, and brown coal with palm wood under the 
Eocene shelly clay. 1 have seen the fossil shells. 

Mary is sending a letter about more modern affairs. 
Ritter has just called again. Farewell, and believe me, with 
love to all. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To M18S Carrick Moore. 

Dresden : August. 3, 1S50. 

My dear Miss Moore, — I find that Mary is sending off a 
letter to you, so I take one of the sheets which we got on 
the summit of the Hartz mountains as a memorial of our 
having performed what was once a great feat ; ascending- 
to the top of the Brocken, which is covered with snow seven 
months of the year, and though in the latitude of * The 
Cedars,' * presented to us a set of mountain plants agreeing 
for the most part with those with which we were familiar 
in the Grampians. It is 3,500 feet high, which to Germans 
accustomed to that endless plain which stretches from 
Bremen to the Oural, and which on our way from Berlin to 
this place we traversed in a north and south direction, may 
well appear a magnificent height. I was well satisfied to be 
carried by railway to near the foot of the Hartz, and by a 
carriage which carried all our luggage to the inn at the 
top, for by going up one road and descending by another, I 
was able to examine the granite of which it is composed, 
and other points of geological interest for which one has 
little time and courage when all one's energy and patience 
are required to contend with physical obstacles. 

Our visit to Potsdam turned out most propitious, Hum- 
boldt giving us a good deal of his company and conversation 
and the entrSe to the finest view from * Sans Souci,' where 
the King was residing, not open to the public. The three 
palaces are certainly fine, and an oasis in a desert must 
always have a peculiar charm, so that the gardens pleased us 
much, and the great fountains 120 feet high, which I believe I 

* Where Miss Mooro rcsiclod, near Richmond. 

ii 2 



could stand admiring as long as any child. But I confess 
that nothing pleased me so much as an exact restoration of 
one of the buildings of Pompeii, an atrium or outer court of 
a house, and a bath room, both of which form an integral 
part of the palace called Charlottenhof. These were erected 
by the present King * when Crown Prince, the bath being 
used. The court has no roof in the central part, and as it 
was a fine day, the blue sky, reminding me of Italy, had a 
beautiful effect. Looking at the beauty of the proportions of 
the room, and all the statues and paintings which adorned 


it, one could not but feel how little we have outdone the 
Greeks of a small provincial town, 2,000 years ago, in taste, 
even in the palaces of our days. The restoration also by 
Lepsius of one of the temples of Philse on the Nile, in the 
museum, all the columns and walls being painted as on the 
original, a facsimile, only reduced to one fourth of the 
original size, is an excellent way of carrying one back 3,000 
years. On the whole, however, the Berlin collection of 
Egyptian antiquities did not appear to me to be comparable 
in extent to that of the British Museum. 

We go up the Elbe to Saxon Switzerland to-morrow. The 
weather both here and in the Hartz perfection. I sat long 
hefore the Madonna di San Sisto to-day, and can feel its 
beauty. The wealth of pictures is overwhelming to one who 
is not able to give weeks to them. 

Believe me, with kindest remembrance to your father and 
another and Bister, 

Very truly yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To Leonard Horner, Esq. 

Li6^e : August 28, 1850. 

My dear Homer, — I believe in my last letter I mentioned 
that I was going with Credner a geological expedition to 
try and determine the relative age of the loess of Thuringik 
and the northern erratics. He took me to critical points, 
and I returned with a quantity of new facts leading me to 
believe the loess to be for the most part posterior. As near 

» Frederick William IV. 


Stuttgard the loess passes downwards in some places, as at 
Weimar and north of Gotha, into calcareous tufa and 
travertin, the latter being used as at Eome for a building- 
stone. This calcareous formation is from fifty to eighty feet 
thick, and I searched in it for gyrogonites, seeing many 
stems of Chara, and found them probably recent species, as 
the shells, freshwater and land, are of living species. But 
a great prize was a mass of tuflF with four eggs, which I 
bought from the workmen near Gotha, perhaps of a tortoise. 
They are fixed in the solid rock, and were entire when 
found. They were fifteen feet deep in the tufa deposit, and 
in the same beds were bones of Elephaa primigfmmsj Rhino^ 
ceros iiclwrhinusj TJrsus spelceus, &c., and recent Limncea 
and Planorhis. 

The beds I have been fossilising in between Dresden, 
Weimar, Gotha, Eisenach, Cassel, Giessen, and Frankfort 
are triassic. The muschelkalk everywhere, as I formerly 
knew it at Baireuth. The keuper with Calamites, some grow- 
ing like the East Virginian ones at right angles to planes 
of stratification ; the lower member, the Bunter, usually 
without organic remains. 

I was glad at Halle to be taken by Professor Giebel to 
pay my first respects to the roth-todt-liegende, or Permian 
conglomerate, and the contemporaneous porphyries out of the 
ruins or rolled fragments of which it is chiefly made. Again, 
at Eisenach, where there is a kind of section of the Thiirin- 
genwald chain, I found the Wartburg, where Luther threw 
the ink-bottle at the devil, is made of this same conglomerate 
800 feet thick, and Charles Bunbury will be interested in 
hearing that the Psarrolites occur in the lower beds of the 
lowest member of the Permian. 

With love to all, believe me ever aflFectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Chables Bukbuby, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London: September 14» 1850. 

My dear Bunbury, — I am truly glad to hear not only of 
your botanising in the Urwelt, but also that you do not mean 
to let the plants remain for nine years more as unknown as 
they have been for the last nine million years. 

166 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxvi. 

When I met Colonel Codrington and Sir J. Wilson in 
town since my return, they said they could see by my looks 
I had been holiday-keeping in the country. So much for 
that whirl over the Scandinavian drift and Thuringian trias 
which seemed to you, when you read an account of it, as any- 
thing but a repose after London exertions. But when a man 
has had to write and print a book and Presidential Address, 
and dine and preside at the Geological Society, and carry on 
society, and an 1851 Royal Commission, all at once, you may 
conceive what a rest our tour must have been, though the 
grass did not certainly grow under our feet anywhere. We 
went to bed and got up with the sun, usually an explanation 
of my returning better and Mary fatter, which perhaps you will 
scarcely sympathise with, being like your late uncle (and as 
Audubon says the mammalia generally, considered as a class, 
are) a nocturnal animal. To give you an idea how far from 
easy it is to get at the repositories of treasures in your way, T 
asked everywhere for the names of Dresden geologists, and 
most people said Geiuitz is the only man. At last, after writing 
to him, I learnt the name of an officer, Gutbier, whose work 
on Permian fossils I afterwards bought. He was quartered at 
Dresden. We arrived and I set off for Geinitz. Not at home. 
Licutonant-Colonel Gutbier ordered out to a grand review 
before two Austrian Archdukes. Mrs. Geinitz assured me 
that there was not a soul, young or old, caring for stones or 
fossils in the whole city. Not believing this, I inquired 
diligently for dealers, and found there were two, who sold 
stuffed birds and insects. The first of these whom I beat 
up said he had no minerals, but once sold some to a teacher 
of painting. Professor Zeula. Off I went to where Zeula once 
lived, he had changed his abode ; went off again. At last 
found him, an artist selling pictures and antiquities, and just 
going to lecture on painting, all very unpromising. But at 
last showing him my Anniversary Address, and making him 
aware that I was somebody^ he gave me the overhauling of 
200 draw^ers, more rich in well-arranged fossils, and among 
others Permian and German coal plants, than any I saw in 
public or private cabinets. He would, I think, have sold the 
collection, though he got them from a real love of geology. 
The moral of this is, never to believe that in any great 


German city — and the same is true in France and the United 
States — there are no paleontological resources. 

Believe me, with love to Frances, ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To George Ticknor, Esq. 

London: 1850. 

My dear Ticknor, — I believe I said that I thought 
Bunsen would lose his time in entering into the controversy 
about the Letters of Ignatius, but after a conversation I have 
had with him in which he gave me a sketch of the points in 
his new German pamphlet not yet translated, I have changed 
my mind. 

He contends that the Syriac MS.® not only proves that 
the passages in the first three letters which were relied on as 
proving the Apostolic succession were spurious, but also that 
the four other letters which were an expansion of the inter- 
polated passages were altogether forgeries. In short, * the 
three Letters ' translated by Oureton are all that Ignatius 
ever wrote. Bunsen has remarked that if Mr. Keble, our 
great Puseyite, could say in his preface to Hooker that it 
was a special intervention of Providence which led to the 
recovery of the Letters of Ignatius at a time when Episcopacy 
was in danger, what shall we now say of that Providence, 
which just at a moment when a certain party of the English 
Church are pushing the pretensions of the clergy to the 
verge of Romanism, has brought to light this MS. in the cellar 
of an obscure convent in the Libyan desert beyond Cairo ? 

Bunsen says that when the eight verses are omitted, the 
three letters are such as he might be supposed to have 
penned in prison (a.d. 107) ; but not so the other four. 

I believe the Syriac MS. is of the fourth century. How 
early did these frauds and forgeries begin, and who shall say 
that all the three letters are pure and undefiled, or what 
degree of certainty have we in respect to the full and literal 
genuineness of documents still more important of which no 
MSS. earlier than the fourth and fifth centuries exist ? I 
learnt with much surprise from Bunsen, a propos to forgeries 

• Purchased for the British Museum from an Eg}'ptian convent, containing 
the original Epistles of Ignatius. 

168 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvl 

and pious frauds of the primitive and mediseval Churcb, that 
Luther published the last edition of his Bible without the 
passages in St. John on Hhe three heavenly witnesses/ but 
that soon after Luther's death they reprinted his Bible with 
them inserted. As they are wanting in all the four (?) older 
MSS. of the New Testament at Bome, as well as the Codex 
Eegius at Paris, I have always considered it a great want of 
good faitJi on the part of the Protestants, that we distribute 
millions of Bibles without any mark to show to the multitude 
that these verses are spurious. Am I not right in saying 
that a great many, nay most of the Bibles used by the Uni- 
tarians at Boston, contain these verses without any italics or 
marginal note to show that they were interpolated ? I pre- 
sume that if this be the case, it would be defended on the 
ground that the Unitarians do, what our ministers do not, 
viz. explain that the passage is not genuine. It is precisely 
the same plan adopted here in regard to Moses and his 
geology. The vulgar hear the first chapter of Genesis read 
out without comment or the smallest explanation from 
ninety-nme out of a hundred pulpits, and thej- grow up 
in the belief of the modem origin of the globe, and the unity 
of the creation of man and the globe, and all the inhabitants 
which have ever lived upon it since the beginning. Heice 
they regard scientific men with suspicion and with prejudice, 
and yet no educated clergyman could now-a-days enter the 
field against the popular creed of the geologist or astronomer, 
any more than he would stand up and attack Erasmus or 
Porson about the * three heavenly witnesses.' In short, in 
spite of the Reformation, the Bible is nearly as much a 
treasure in sacerdotal keeping as if we had all gone over 
with Newman to Rome ; and in spite of Cureton, and Bunsen, 
and Blanco White, one is sometimes tempted to ask whether 
good faith and a regard for the sacredness of truth is not a 
rare exception to the rule in Anglo-Saxondom at least, what- 
ever it may be in Germany. The sectarian spirit of the two 
divisions of the small Episcopalian Church in Scotland, the 
' Drummondites ' and their opponents, the High Church or 
Puseyites, is blazing out almost as violently as the old Kirk 
and the free Kirk ; and then there is Romanism, and the new 
edict even of Pius IX. ! against the excellent new Irish 


Colleges intended by Peel to be open to all religious denomi- 
nations ; and the Wesleyans, who are now much worse than 
the Establishment in setting themselves against progress, 
and admitting no interpretation which Wesley did not 
sanction, although he, had he lived, would have moved on 
with the age. This and the narrow views of our dissenters, 
and the power of the English Church to substitute a sham 
national education for a real one, makes one almost despair. 
Even some of the most liberal of our clergy assume in their 
pamphlets that the labouring class will be made unhappy if 
taught too much, so they take care to confine them to the 
merest learning of their letters, and never allow them to 
think, paying schoolmasters thirty pounds a year in some 
places, wages which none of their mennservants, who are 
found in food, would accept. If the people, or the laity, 
should succeed in taking the matter into their own hands, 
as in your country, I should have some hopes, but I do not 
expect it. A few months ago the new King's College of 
London began a professional system of Divinity on the pro- 
fessorial plan, and forty-eight young menintended to graduate 
in London, and never to go to Oxford or Cambridge, imme- 
diately entered. I attach considerable importance to this 
move, as it is the first formidable opposition to or competi- 
tion with the old Universities, and men brought up in the 
metropolis will have larger views. The clergy must continue 
to be our real educational rulers in this country, which I 
believe is more parson-ridden than any in Europe except 
Spain, if we consider how the higher education as well as 
that of the lower orders, and how the laity, as well as the 
clergy, are under the influence of this ecclesiastical body. 
Ten years ago, before Agassiz had been many months travel- 
hng here, he told me he thought the prospects of science in 
England very poor because of the power of the English 
Church, and I was surprised that as a foreigner he should 
have seen so far. The promotion of the new Bishop Hamp- 
den was well meant by Lord John, but he recanted so 
ostentatiously his liberal views, called by some Socinian, 
and he has done so little to distinguish himself, that few are 
much pleased with the nomination. 

You ask me when I hope to get out any account of the 

170 S/jR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxvi. 

results of my last tour. I have only been steadily at work 
three or four montlis at the non-geological results of my 
nine months' absence from England, but get on fast, owing 
to having talked and thought it over with so many clever 
minds on the subjects which shook me. I have to steer 
clear of two errors, — first appearing to be too discontented 
with the state of things in England, especially as regards 
progress and education ; and secondly, being too much an 
optimist about the corresponding parts of your system north 
of the Potomac or of New York city. 

With love to your family, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Geoege Ticknoe, Esq. 

Mildenhall, Suffolk : December 29, 1850. 

My dear Ticknor, — It is long since I have written to you, 
and I believe I owe you a letter. We are a large family 
party here of Bunburys, Horners, and Lyells, and the 
christening of my nephew ^ (also my wife's nephew) has 
been an event to mark our Christmas festivities. I am now 
writing my Anniversary Address as President of the Geological 
Society, and I then hope to be able to work at some original 
papers, the results of observations made on the geology of the 
United States in 1845-6, and last year in Germany, after 
which we hope to make another expedition of several months 
in Germany, that I may follow up a line of geological research 
broken off last autumn. You will see by the papers that 
there has been a great Church or ecclesiastical ferment here, 
I can hardly dignify it with the name of a religious excite- 
ment, for I fear the people are not, like the Scotch, enough 
in earnest. If they were, we should no doubt have an out- 
burst of fanaticism and sectarian bitterness for a time, but 
it would lead to more religious liberty, such as you enjoy, 
and our statesmen and legislators would be more free to 
adopt a Government scheme of education, which must be very 
limited so long as we have 17,000 endowed clergymen, and 
10,000 perhaps dissenting ministers, equally wishing to 
monopolise education. The Pope's rash move, or rather the 

* Leonard Ljell. 


insolent way of doing it, has roused the Protestant feeling of 
the middle classes, and the churchman sees that he must 
draw in his horns, and not lay claim to the supernatural 
power which our ordination service confers upon him of 
retairing and forgiving sins, than which no Catholic priest 
ever claimed more. So far, therefore, as tends to the check- 
ing of Tractarianism and semi-Romanist pretensions within 
the Church, this excitement, with all its intolerance, may do 
some good, but I fear it will bring about no reform in the 
Church creeds, liturgies, ordination services, and baptismal 
mystic rites, which a large majority of laymen look upon 
either as superstitious, or as forms of words which are to be 
gulped, or laughed at, or which, with a most worldly spirit of 
compromise, they contend for as a political badge. 

Oxford and Eton continue to rear up men who pass 
through Puseyism to Rome, and the opinions of the higher 
and middle classes are getting more and more widely 
separated in religious matters — an effect which may one day 
undermine the Establishment, although its authors are aim- 
ing to increase their domination and supremacy. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Geoege Ticknoe, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London : January 10, 1851. 

My dear Ticknor, — I have lately been giving a lecture ® 
to a large audience (gratis, and in a missionary spirit) at 
Ipswich, to more than 1,000 persons, on * Geology,' one of 
the new provincial institutions, badly off for funds rather, but 
with a beautiful museum of natural history. Being on the 
surplus-fund committee of the Great Exhibition, I am in 
hopes of getting these provincial institutes connected with a 
central London Board, and that we may have examiners to 
grant certificates to be required of all who take places under 
Government, great or small. The Prince Consort is a host 
in himself in forwarding education, worth all the English 
Whigs put together. Oxford, and Puseyism, and Evangelism 
and a State Church, and the narrowness of excluded sectari- 

* On White Chalk and Progressive Development. 

172 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvl 

anism, are fearful odds against as* If once the clergy see 
we are getting under weigh, they will try, and I fear with 
success, to get the mechanics' institutes into their own 
power, in which case the cause of science will suffer. But 
at all events, as yet, we are always moving onwards in the 
right direction here, while the rest of the Continent is retro- 
grading, and the influence of Russian and Austrian semi- 
barbarism is felt as far west as Hamburgh, while France, to 
her shame, is strengthening sacerdotal despotism in Borne, 
as well as military power at home. At a large party of 
scientific men at our club the other day at dinner, it was 
said, ^ We shall all have to migrate to America soon, as so 
many approve, even here, of Louis Napoleon and his Pretorian 
guards and Jesuits.' If Holland, Piedmont, Belgium, and 
the few constitutional states which remain free from Cossack 
influence, would join with us and the United States, it would 
be easy without a war, but at present it seems to us that the 
semi-barbarous nations are going to have it all their own 
way. You augured ill from the beginning of the French 
move in 1848, but you could hardly have anticipated such a 
result, and that, too, with a steady rise of the French fonds. 
No one can now write a word on politics to a friend in Paris, 
and private letters from thence abstain from politics just as 
if it were St. Petersburg. Senior has returned from Rome 
even more shocked with the persecutions and dungeons there 
than Gladstone was with Naples. Never were so many of 
the best men imprisoned in all the more civilised countries 
as now. 

As a set-off against occasional conversion of Puseyite 
Anglican clergy to Romanism, and people of rank and 
property, we have some thousands of Irish peasantry and 
farmers quitting Catholicism for Protestantism, and the 
Irish Romanist periodicals furious thereupon; also several 
instances of theological works of free inquiry in an earnest 
spirit, printed by men who are suffered to retain professor- 
ships in Universities, although so outrageously unorthodox 
that ten years ago they would have been sent to Coventry in 
society for entertaining or confessing such want of faith. 

Remember us to the Prescotts and other friends. 

Ever affectionately yours, Chables Ltell. 


To Chables Bukburt, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : April 22, 1851. 

My dear Bunbury, — Heer's paper is most interesting to 
me, although * Pereant qui ante nos, nostra dixerunt/ came 
almost to my lips when reading some of the pages. The 
first question tis, how much faith one ought to have in his 
determination of the S. Jorge plants. The Corylus, for 
example, is it a hazel ? He draws important conclusions from 
it, and the Asplenium marinum, on which he reasons. 

The discussion on the former existence of an Atlantis is 
one on which I have made many notes and written much. 
It is very suggestive as treated by Heer, and better than I 
anticipated from his old essay on * Madeira.' He does not 
appear to feel enough the contrast of the shells and plants, 
the forms so much more endemic and less European (J allude 
to the land-shells). It is really a splendid essay of Heer — 
allowing for future modifications. As I think I can prove 
that the islands, as islands, go back to the Miocene period, I 
feel the more interest in his speculation as to the original 
source of some of the plants from tertiary * protoplasts,* as 
Dr. Latham would sav. 

I hope you will get a paper out or ready before I finish 
mine, if that day ever comes, for unless 1 fix the time I see 
that a life-time would never bring it about in the natural 
course of events. 

Believe me ever afiectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell, 

To Geobge Ticenor, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London ; May 20, 1861. 

My dear Ticknor, — Since I last wrote to you I have seen 
Mr. Lowell, who has come to see the World's Fair, with which 
he is as much struck and delighted as anyone. I arranged 
with him that I should give my lectures in Boston in the 
autumn of 1852, instead of the winter, as my scheme is to 
return in the winter for several reasons. . . . You will see 
by the papers which will reach you with the same steamer 

174 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvl 

as this letter, how wonderfully the * Crystal Palace ' ^ has 
taken, and how the prejudices of those who were incapable 
of taking in such a * new idea ' have given way before the tide 
of popularity and fashion. FTe, the commissioners, are now 
doing our best to give it an educational turn, but my hope 
is that the chief good will be the admission of the million 
to see so much of the result of the highest civilisation, such 
as even the aristocracy who have travelled to see palaces 
and museums cannot help admiring. Foreign nations in 
general have come forward handsomely, and have sent pro- 
perty to an extent which if estimated by the mere money 
value is really amazing. Turkey, Tunis, Egypt, and such dis- 
tant points. To us, who know what the United States might 
easily have done, it is a matter of some concern that, if they 
sent anything, they should have done so little, especially 
after claiming so large a space. There are two or three good 
carriages and sleighs, and fortunately an Englishman sent 
Power's Greek Slave, which with your Bostonian Wounded 
Indian, is, I fear, the only two pieces of sculpture — an article 
which forms a fine part and feature of the Exhibition. But 
any one of the Atlantic cities might have sent a better turn- 
out, and ought to do so now, were it only to show John Bull 
in the month of September, in the course of which several 
hundred thousand will still be crowding to Hyde Park, how 
much faster they have gone than the present contributions 
will give an idea of. Even now the Lyons people have only 
half their splendid silks and velvets unpacked, for they had 
no faith in our opening before the 1st of June. We have 
often been wishing that you and Mrs. Ticknor and your 
daugliters were here, as we are staying longer than usual in 
town, to receive friends who are coming up to see the Exhibi- 
tion. In the beginning of July we hope to get to Germany, 
via Belgium, to return in September. 

Our nephew is gone with his parents to Scotland for a 
fortnight's visit to his aunts. We shall miss him, and my 
brother is to sail for India the first week in July, but I hope 
for two and a half years' absence only. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

• First Exhibition at Hyde Park. 


To His Sister-in-Law, Miss Horner. 

Ipswich : July 4» 1851. 

My dear Susan, — I sat next but one at the luncheon to- 
day given by the President and Vice-President of the Ipswich 
Museum to Prince Albert. Airy, President of the Associa- 
tion, between me and H.B.H. One of the incidents durin<y 
the dinner was the Prince saying to me, * I will show you 
a geological illustration in your way; there is a glacier* 
(pointing to a huge block of Wenham Lake ice), * and here 
is the stream proceeding from its melting, and you see where 
it is flowing to.* We all looked, and the stream was just 
pouring over the edge of the table-cloth into Henslow's lap, 
who, as President of the Museum, was sitting in the chair- 
man's place. He had barely time to escape being wet 

But now to my subject. After luncheon the Prince took 
me aside and said, * Are you to be with us to-morrow at 
the Commission, when we want numbers, and have diflBcult 
jury business to decide ? I told him I could not be sure. 
* Then,' said he, * I must ask you to get, if you can, from your 
sister, a copy of that statement of hers.* I am sorry I have 
mislaid it ; I have hunted for it in vain. Tell her if she will 
only put the/«c^« fully, it will do. Evans is now at Venice, 
and we shall have lost no time. But to ensure a report I 
must put the affair in hand before I leave town.' 

You may therefore, if you have not a copy of the original 
(which I do not think was too long), make a shorter one of 
the facts of the case as to the danger of destruction, &c. 
That is the pressing part of the business. But still a word 
or two about their being so badly shown would be useful I 
think, and the cold and discomfort to artists in winter. 

I am sorry you should have to re-write it, bet we have 
at least the satisfaction of thinking it is not forgotten. 

Believe me, my dear Susan, ever your affectionate brother, 

Charles Ltell. 

> Miss Homer ha<l drawn up a statement of the danger and injury to Raf- 
faels cartoons at Hampton Court from damp and tire. They are now in Ken- 
sington Museum, and under glass. 

176 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxvii. 


FEBBUABT ]8d2-NOyEl[BEB 1854. 


[Sir Charles Lyell sailed for Boston in August 1852, to give a 
course of lectures at the Lowell Institute, and returned to England 
before Christmas. 

In 1853 be was invited by the Government to accompany Lord 
Ellesmere as one of the Commissioners to the New York Inter- 
national Exhibition, and in consequence of the illness of his chief, 
much of the official business and representation of the Commission 
fell to his share. He retunacd in July, and in the winter went to 
Madeira with his wife and Mr. and Mrs. Bunbury.^ Early in 1854 
he visited Teneriffe, the Grand Canary, and Palma, retiming to 
England in April. He attended the British Association at Liverpool 
the same year.] 

To William Geove, Esq.* 

11 Harley Street: February 14, 1852. 

Dear Grove, — I heard the whole of your lecture ^ from a 
distant part of the room well and distinctly, and with great 
delight. It could not have been better or clearer, so far as 
the making an abstruse question comprehensible was con- 
cerned, and the exordium and peroration were beautiful. 

* Lady Lyell's sister. 

2 Sir William Grove, Jud^e of the Court of Common Pleas, author of the 
Correlation of th^ Pkifsical Force$. 

• At the Royal Institution, the previous evening, February 13, * On the 
Heating Effects of Electricity and Magnetism.* 


As to the latter, I cited a letter of Liebig once on ^ English 
Utilitarianism/ and you cannot put down too often the ^ 
bono objectors. But you did more by taking the very highest 
ground in doing homage to the martyrs for truth. The ex- 
tent to which the concealment of nearly all the newly 
discovered truths in every branch, moral and physical, is 
defended, if opposed to the popular notion, is one of the 
worst vices of the times, against which the shafts of satire 
should be aimed. 

Speaking of martyrs, do you remember the low tone of 
morality with which, in a letter cited in Sir S. Bomilly's 
Life, Mirabeau, with all his characteristic force and eloquence, 
apologises for Fontenelle. * He well knew,' he says, * that 
philosophers do not multiply like fanatics under the axe of 
the executioner or in the dungeons of the Inquisition,' &c., 
and went on to show how slowly and cautiously * truth should 
be unveiled.' 

Ever yours truly, 

Charles Ltell. 

To William Grove, Esq. 

11 Harley Street: May 30, 1852. 

My dear Grove, — I was much obliged to you for your note. 
We worked very hard for three or four hours on Saturday, and 
greatly improved the Report.* Do not criticise too much 
what we do, but lean to the indulgent side, seeing that the 
great point in striving to get up a University for the people, 
is to approach it in the shape of industrial instruction, and 
if we can through certain influences get Lord Derby to join 
(and this I expect you will see done), much good must follow. 
The Church has of course an exclusive right to educate the 
people, but the humbler task of instructing them may, how- 
ever reluctantly, be conceded to laymen and statesmen, pro- 
vided the latter proceed with due caution and courage. The 

* It was desirable to get a union of the principal Scientific Societies, and 
this movement ultimately led to the juxtaposition of the Societies at Burling- 
ton House. Mr. Grove gave evidence before the Oxford University Oom- 
mission (to whose Report the above letter refers), recommending more in- 
struction in physical science, and the making an elementary knowledge of it 
an integral part of University education. 

VOL. II. If 


CHAP. xxvn. 

individual independence of the Royal Society, &c., if they 
move to a new site, must of course be guaranteed, but I 
confess I regard this as of most importance (I mean the 
juxtaposition) to the getting some system and organisation 
into the schools for the people. We must not be too nice 
about the machinery for the first movement. The weak 
part of the Oxford Eeport is the not saying more about 
physical science ; but it is a really grand Report, and all 
would follow if what they recommended were adopted. 

Ever truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

GovemmeDt House, Fredericton : September 12, 1862. 

My dear Homer, — In the steamer I had much pleasant 
talk, not only with the Heads,* but with several other mess- 
mates. The Americans seem all to agree that the vast 
German emigration pouring now into the United States is 
giving them a much more respectable and orderly population 
than the Irish, besides the advantage of being chiefly Protes- 
tant. Mr. Gisborne was on board, who has already manu- 
factured a rope for an electric telegraph, to be laid down 
this season from Nova Scotia, by Prince Edward's Island, to 
St. John's, Newfoundland, whence a steamer will go in five 
and a quarter days to Galway, so that it ought to be possible 
before the end of 1862 to send a message from New Orleans 
to Vienna in five and a half days. Some money has even 
been subscribed for a rope 1,600 miles long from Newfound- 
land to Galway. But even Gisborne said that though he 
had subscribed largely himself, he would recommend no 
friend to do so ; though he says the whole line would cost 
no more than two miles of the Box Tunnel. 

I hired a pleasant private carriage with a pair of steeds, 
to take me and Dawson ^ on the way to Truro, eighty miles 
from Halifax, changing horses about every twenty miles, on 

» Sir Edmund Head, Bart., born 1805, died 1868 ; eminent classical scholar 
and devoted to art, on which he published several works. Lieutenant-Oovemor 
of New Brunswick in 1847, and in 1864 promoted to the Gtovernor-Generalship 
of Canada. 

* J. W. Dawson, Esq., now Principal of Montreal College. 

1852. INDIAN WIGWAMS. 179 

an excellent road, through natural woods, with yery rarely 
any house in sight, and bright sunshine, my companion 
knowing the names of all the plants, and showing me among 
other things the great ridges of huge boulders, six feet and 
upwards in diameter, which the ice heaps up round the 
borders of the numerous lakes of clear water which we passed 
in a region of quartz, slate, and granite. We got out for a 
few minutes to yisit five wigwams of Indians, beautifully 
roofed with birch bark. There are 2,000 of these Indians of 
pure breed roaming over this wild country, and after-return- 
ing to the carriage I could not help wondering that thi» 
scene was within eleven days of my having walked the streets 
of Liverpool, after what was complained of as a longish 
passage, with a fair share of head-wind, in the least fleet of 
the new steamers of Cunard's line. I felt much fresher for 
the fallow which the voyage had given to my mind after the 
excitement of London. I was going to peep into the wig- 
wam, when a curtain was hastily drawn, and Dawson warned 
me against intruding on the Indians uninvited, as they are 
very ceremonious among themselves. A Baptist missionary 
who was master of their language and gained many converts, 
was expounding lately the parable, that when you are asked 
to a feast you should take the lowest place, &c., when an 
old Indian remarked, ' It is strange that Christ should have 
spoken so to the white people. When a stranger enters our 
tent, he sits himself down by the door, and if we welcome 
him, we entreat him to come to the other side of the fire, 
farthest from the door. But the white men will come in 
unasked, or, if invited, will seat themselves without ceremony 
in the best place.' 

Next day, Septemler 2, I erossed between TVuro and 
Amherst, the Cobequid Hills, by a different route from that 
which I followed with Mary in 1842, and more picturesque, 
displaying a great quantity of hard wood under which the 
fern and * sweet fern,' Pteris aquilinay and Gomptonia dspleni- 
folia^ were growing together, which they do not in the White 
Mountains, having there two distinct zones. I was amused 
at seeing good-sized schooners of 40 tons, building high up 
on the hills, 200 and 300 feet. In the winter a strong team 
of oxen will easily draw them down over the snow into thft 

If 2 

180 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvii. 

Bay of Fundj. Imagine them buried by a landslip, a fatare 
geologist proving by them the change of sea level ! It is 
marvellous to see the larch posts of the electric telegraph 
scaling the mountains, and serving all winter, though trees 
are blown down upon it every great storm. It is instantly 
J-epaired, and pays a very great interest for the capital ex- 
pended, and in this * sparsely ' peopled country ! My horses 
were ordered by it, and whenever I went into an office I 
found a string of messages waiting to be sent on : e,g. * The 
•ship " Anna " sails from Truro at 12 a.m., Thursday.' They 
also effect insurances of vessels at New York in a few minutes, 
giving the tonnage, &c., and receiving an answer from the 
Insurance Company. Dawson, the first evening, told his 
wife * all well,' and asked if a child who was not well was 
"better. The answer could not be given at once from Pictou, 
because part of the news from Europe brought by the 
* America ' with us, was still streaming through the line to 
various parts of Canada and the United States, but while we 
were at tea the reply came, * Go to the Post Office and you 
will find a letter from me.' 

On the Cobequid Hills the red maple had already begun 
to turn to a brilliant scarlet. The ground was covered with 
Kalmia and Rhodara, both out of flower, the latter a kind of 
Rhododendron, with bluish green leaves, and said to be 
beautifully purple in spring when in flower. The asters, 
golden rods, and everlastings, cover at this season all Nova 
Scotia and New Brunswick. 

J. W. Dawson has for the last two years been a sort of 
school missionary paid by the Government. He showed me 
a room at Truro, where he met and lectured to eighty school- 
masters, convened to exchange ideas and for mutual instruc- 
tion. No hindrance arises in these schools from sectarian 
differences, they are free to all denominations, but all at- 
tempts to make progress in the higher education at the col- 
lege has failed, owing to the Legislature having divided the 
money among a number of sects, each unable to pay quali- 
fied professors. Luckily, when this system began, the 
schools for the people had not been started, so they deter- 
mined to profit by experience. One of the last endowed 
colleges, that of Fredericton, New Brunswick, is rendered 


useless and almost without scholars, owing to an old-fashioned 
Oxonian of Corpus Christi, Oxford, having been made head, 
and determining that lectores in Aristotle are all that the 
youth in a new colony ought to study, or other subjects on 
the strict plan which might get honours at Oxford. I trust 
that Sir Edmund Head may succeed in his exertions to get 
something taught which the pupils can afford to spend their 
time in learning. At present they must go to the United 

My companion, J. W. Dawson, is continually refemng to 
the curious botanical points respecting calamites, endoge- 
nites, and other coal plants, on which light is thrown by 
certain specimens collected by him at Fictou, and sent to 
Charles Bunbury. He cold me that the root of their pond 
lily, Nymphwa odorata, most resembled Stigmaria in the 
regularity of its growth ; and Dr. Bobb showed me a dried 
specimen, a rhizoma, which being of a totally different 
family and therefore not strictly like, still suggests the pro- 
bability of the Stigmaria having grown in slush in like manner, 
and sent out rootlets. I was much pleased to see two Sigil- 
larise dug out with their four dichotomous roots, each again 
dividing. It requires more labour than most geologists have 
time for, to have the whole disinterring and washing of 
trunk and root, allowing for occasional failures owing to the 
external marks being occasionally wanting, especially if 
near the base of the trunk and first starting off of thb 

Dawson and T set to work and measured foot bv foot 
many hundred yards of the cliffs, where the forests of erect 
trees and calamites most abound. It was hard work, as the 
wind one day was stormy, and we had to look sharp lest the 
rocking of living trees just ready to fall from the top of the 
undermined cliff should cause some of the old fossil ones to 
come down upon us by the run. But I never enjoyed the 
reading of a marvellous chapter of the big volume more. 
We missed a botanical aide-de-camp much when we came to 
the tops and bottoms of calamites, and all sorts of strange 
pranks which some of the compressed trees played. The 
so-called flabellaria, which I believe C. Bunbury thinks 
are the stipes of ferns, puzzled us much. They abound 

182 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvir. 

roost with Sigillaria. The uuderclays with Stigmariae are 
wonderfully like those clays with recent roots under peat, 
and sunk stumps, in the marshes of the Bay of Pundy. 

The names which the sailors have made out of the original 
French settlers' names are amusing. Point Demoiselle is 
Muzzle Point ; Mont Chapeau Dieu, so called because usually 
capped with cloud, is Mount Sheepoddy; the great river 
Petit Codiac is Petticoat Jack. But I have met with none 
to rival an old friend in Musquito Bay, on the St. Lawrence, 
Anse de Cousins, which is * Nancy Cozens.* 

After the Joggins we returned to Amherst and thence to 
Dorchester, where a friend of Head's, called by some his 
prime minister, Mr. Chandler, received us in a handsome 
house, and his son took us next day to see a wonderful bed 
or vein of asphaltum, the subject of a hotly contested law- 
suit — a vein from one to eleven feet thick, of pure pitch coal, 
or something like it, traversing fractured coal measures. 
It is too puzzling to attempt an account of it. As Gesner 
has consulted me, and the other party Dawson, we are trying 
to persuade them to compromise the suit. About 3,000f. 
pocketed already by the lawyers \ The chief point being, 
whetler it be a bed of coal which passes by a crown lease, 
or of asphalte or some mineral which would not pass. 
Many of the most eminent of the scientific chemists and 
geologists of the United States examined. The distances 
are enormous. After Dawson left me at Dorchester, I tra- 
velled about 150 miles at one stretch iu a stage coach to- 
Avards St. John's, New Brunswick. Chandler and two 
friends, good company inside. The population returns just 
made show that New Brunswick, which nearly numbers 
200,000 souls, has increased in the last ten years faster than 
the average of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and 
Vermont, the four adjoining States. Nova Scotia is about 
280,000. Both big enough and fertile enough to hold as 
many as Ireland — noble provinces. They lose many of their 
^most enterprising colonists by desertion to the States, and 
'gay ' we must get railroads in order to keep them.* Many 
are off to Australia and California. Still they grow 23 
per cent, in ten years. Sir E. Head met me at St. John, 
and we examined the Falls together. It is very strange to 

1852. N£IV BRUNSWICK, 183 

see a great river or tidal current, rush first in for several 
hours, and then out of a narrow gorge formed of metamor- 
phic rocks, vertical beds of limestone and slate, invaded by 
trap and syenite. They ought to be called the Eapids rather. 
The vessels, a little fleet laden with timber, wait till the tide 
flows neither way, and then sail in or out. The whole har- 
bour is beautiful. The sail up the river eighty or ninety miles 
from St. John to Fredericton is fine — picturesque, till a 
country of nearly horizontal coal measures produces tame 
outlines and low hills. The power of ice is ever present to 
me in these regions, transporting huge boulders in winter. 
The sea-ice carried an enormous angular mass of coal grit, 
twelve or more feet in diameter, from an adjoining promon- 
tory to the place where the colliers loaded. They were 
obliged to blow it up with gunpowder at low-water this 
spring. Our stay at Government House was very agreeable, 
and made up in some degree for losing the Heads for the 
last four years in town. He has many difficult points to 
grapple with in his colonial management, but Lord Grey 
supported him well. He is evidently much liked as Governor. 
We saw the Puseyite Bishop who had preached to us on 
board the * America * enter, carrying a crozier in his hand ! 
No one at home has yet ventured to perfoim this play, for 
which he cites an ordinance of Edward VI., in which I am 
told there are other popish ceremonies ordered which are 
not yet ventured upon. 

I believe I mentioned in my last that Dawson and I 
found the skeleton of an animal in the middle of one of the 
upright trees of the Joggins, Nova Scotia. I thought it 
would prove a Labyrinthodon, and not a sauroid fish. Agassiz 
has seen the jaw, and what I supposed the humerus. He 
says it is something quite new, but he inclines to believe it 
will turn out something ichthyic. Dr. Wyman had a long 
work with me at it yesterday, and after he had begun by 
thinking its reptilian characters predominated, he ended by 
inclining the other way. He and Agassiz are to confer to- 
day upon it. On the whole, I fear it will not prove reptilian, 
though a remarkable fossil, and certainly in a strange place 
Agassiz is looking well, and preparing to publish a great 
embryological work on ^ Paleontology.' He says * he has 

18* SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxvh. 

revelled in the sea here.' The French Academy have voted 
him the first prize bequeathed by Cuvier, for having done 
the most since Cnvier's death. 

With my love to dearest mamma and her daughters, and 
to the Bunburys, believe me ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Leokabd Hobneb, Esq. 

Boston : October 30, 1852. 

My dear Horner, — Since I wrote to you last I have 
made a geological expedition into Vermont, as I believe 
Mary mentioned in her letter, where I found a tertiary 
brown coal or bed of lignite, nine feet thick and very pure, 
associated with white porcelain clay, just as in many parts 
of Germany, near Leipzig, &c. No fossil shells, bnt I hope 
the fossil fruits may enable Charles Bunbury or some one to 
decide its age. I never saw before in the United States any 
deposit quite like it. I am going to give a lecture on some 
remarkable trains of huge erratics which attest in the west 
of Massachusetts, in lat. 42, what wonderful power the ice, 
I believe coast-ice, has exerted. James Hall ^ and I worked 
five days at it, and I think we can explain the manner in 
which the wind and currents distributed them in certain 
linear directions. Even in the neighbourhood of Boston, I 
have been doing with Agassiz, Dr. Gould, and to-day with 
Strepson, a young engineer and conchologist, some good 
work, but I have not time to enter into it. The discoveries 
of Agassiz in the Florida reefs will delight Darwin, and I 
shall have much to tell him. Meanwhile, if you see Charles 
Darwin, tell him that in Florida the effective reef-building 
corals do not build lower than about sixteen fathoms ; so he 
was much within the mark. Agassiz believes in subsidence 
and the atoll theory. He saw one spherical individual of 
Pontes fourteen feet diameter ! and thinks its age, and that 
of some Mseandrinse, as vast as Ehrenberg thought. 

Agassiz has in MS. sixty monographs on embryology of 
marine creatures, invertebrata. He confirms in most things 

' Mr. James Hall, Director of the Gk)vemment (Geological Survey of New 


the observations of Sir John Dalzell, where he has been on 
the same gronnd. He has npset all Ehrenberg's Infusoria, 
some are Vermes, some Crustaceans, some plants, some spori 
of plants, &c« And what, I asked, are Infusoria? The reply 
was, ^ There are no such beings ! * 

October 31. — Mr. Peabody, a Unitarian preacher in King's 
Chapel, gave us a fine discourse to-day on the death of 
Daniel Webster, very simple and original. He dwelt on the 
great importance to a nation of a commanding intellect, as 
even those parties who differed entirely in their political 
views had the advantage of seeing every great question 
placed in a clearer light and on broader grounds, so that 
they were forced in opposing them to do so less ignorantly. 
There was no hyperpanegyric — which of course there has 
been in the various speeches made here. The union of all 
the distant States, and sects, and political parties, shows 
how national this country is. * Uncle Tom's Cabin * will, 
I hope, do more good than harm on the whole. It is a gross 
caricature, because the very great number of kind masters, 
and of famUies where the aame negroes remain for genera- 
tions, is carefully kept out of view. But all the evils de- 
scribed, or nearly all, do now and then occur in a population 
of nearly four millions. As to Congress, it can no more 
interfere constitutionally than our Government to reform 
the harems and other abominations in Turkey. 

My class is a very satisfactory and steady one, and being 
twice as great as has been seen in the Lowell Institute for 
many years, gives pleasure to its patrons. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To J. W. Dawson, Esq. 

Koston : November 6, 1852. 

My dear Sir, — I have very good news to tell you. Agassiz 
only conjectures that hollow-tree Joggins animal is a coelo- 
canth fish, possibly allied to Holoptychius, and assuming it 
to be a fish, then the remarkable bone which first struck us, 
and of which there are two, must be a hyoid bone because it 
could be no other. Yet he knows of no hyoid bone like it. 

186 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvir. 

You see how very looae a decision this is, when the materiahf 
are so ample. Wjman begins to suspect an ichthjic reptile 
allied to Siren, Proteus anguinus (Nemobranchus P), &c., as he 
says there is a bone in them more like it. So much for our 
principal skeleton. But you will be delighted to hear that 
in the same stone Wyman has worked out part of a vertebral 
column, seven vertebrae in a series, and three other detached 
ones of the same dorsal and lumbar region, belonging to a 
distinct creature, and which he at once pronounced a sala- 
mander from the articulating surface of the ball-and-socket 
joints, &c. Afterwards, when it was shown to Agassiz, he 
exclaimed, ^ This is more reptilian than anything I ever saw 
in the coal ! ' I now begin to regret that we left a single 
fragment of the stone on the beach. For Wyman worked 
this treasure out of a most unpromising stone, like many 
which I threw away. 

Latest intelligence. — Dr. Wyman has just been here with 
great news. The first bone which we found is clearly not 
the hyoid bone of a fish, but the iliac bone of a reptile. Do 
not say anything about it, as every hour he is advancing. 
The iliac bone is so precisely ours, and the hyoid of a gar- 
pike (the nearest which Agassiz could find) is so very unlike^ 
that we may pronounce ours to be a true ichthyic reptile till 
he can gainsay us. So we have two reptiles accoiding to 
this, and as only four individuals were previously known 
in the coal of the whole world, 1 hope we have added 33^ 
per cent, at one stroke to the reptilian paleontology of 
that era. 

Believe me, my dear sir, ever truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To George Tioknor, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London : February 17, 1853. 

My dear Ticknor, — I must add a few words to my wife's 
letter to Mrs. Ticknor, though my head is rather too much 
occupied with geology to have anything else worth telling of. 
My publisher is seriously thinking of an edition of 5,000 
copies for this, the ninth, of the * Principles of Geology,' 
with which I am very busy. Macaulay says that Longman 


told him that in England more than a million copies of 
' Uncle Tom * have positively been sold, far exceeding in 
popularity — what think you, the ^Pilgrim's Progress' or 
Walter Scott ? — ^not at all — bat James' * Anxious Enquirer ' I 
of which I at least never heard before. This perhaps ex- 
plains far more of the run of Mrs. Stowe's book, than either 
its talent, or slavery, or the charm of reading a new picture 
of life, after our own social state has been hackneyed in so 
many novels, good and bad. It is, in fact, the first book 
which ever hit precisely the taste of the religious world and 
of the profane ; 100,000 they tell me have sold of the ^ Wide 
Wide World,' and half that number of ^Queechy.' One 
small printer who bought of Clowes the paper intended for 
the Exhibition Catalogue (the privileged one) which was a 
failure, and got it cheap because of its unusual shape, when 
paper was not easy to get, cleared 3,00OL by 60,000 copies of 
* Uncle Tom.' Murray ascertained this. 

So now everyone is speculating in American reprints, 
good, bad, and indifiPerent. They are poured in upon us like 
gold from Australia. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To George Ticenob, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London : April 26, 1863. 

My dear Ticknor, — I wish to make to you the first 
announcement of a sudden change in our plans, by which 
we hope soon to have the pleasure of again seeing you and 
other friends on your side of the water. About a week ago. 
Lord Granville (President of the Council and Vice-President 
of the Eoyal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, which 
still subsists, and of which I am a permanent member), 
called here to say, that the Government had determined to 
send out commissioners to the New York Industrial Exhi- 
bition. That it was somewhat contrary to etiquette, but 
that they were ready to waive that, inasmuch as the last 
Government of the United States had partially recognised 
the New York scheme as national. Lord Ellesmere had 
offered his services to the ministry, and they had thought of 

188 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvii. 

me as No. 2, both to represent science and ^ as one who 
would be acceptable to the American people.' 

I told him I most take time, at least a day or two, to 
consider ; for unless I could calculate by great exertion to get 
out my ninth edition of ^ Principles,' now eight months out 
of print, I could not go. I mast also, I said, see the in- 
structions, and I stipulated that if I went, I would not 
undertake any share, much less a superintendence, of the 
Beport. Secondly, that I would serve, like Lord EUesmere, 
without any salary or pecuniary remuneration. These terms 
being agreed upon and put in writing by me in a letter 
to Lord Granville, and shown no doubt by him to Lords 
Aberdeen and Clarendon, from whom he brought the mes- 
sage, I was nominated, with leave if I could not be ready 
for the Government steamer in which Lord Ellesmere is 
to go, to take a mail packet, in which I might sail with 
my wife. 

I also bargained that I might return as soon as the New 
York business is over, as my scientific work, to be cleared off 
before sailing for the Canaries in the autumn, will be much 
interrupted by this affair. In short, I give them two 
months in all of my time, in return for what is considered 
here a great compliment usually. Some of your countrymen 
here protest that the whole New York affair is a humbug. 
But Ingersoll has sent in a note which confirms the ministers 
here in their friendly resolutions. The Italian sculpture, 
consisting of a hundred statues, is, I hear, beautiful, and 
stimulated no doubt by the sales they made here in 1851. 

I had resolved that nothing should persuade me to in- 
terrupt my reofular geological studies, but there are many 
inducements to make us accept this on such terms, and I 
shall be glad if you will tell Mr. Everett, Lowell, Winthrop, 
Abbott Lawrence, Hillard, and many others whom you think 
would be interested. My wife will tell Mr. Prescott, but not 
enlarge on the subject. I thought I might read to Lord 
Granville a pithy passage from your last letter about the 
state of parties — Pierce, Douglas, Cass, &c. — which was ad- 
mirably fitted to show them that, politically speaking, this 
might be a good move, or could not fail to be, for it is done 
in a good spirit. Lord Ellesmere is, as you know, a most 


accomplished man, and has really great knowledge and taste 
in the fine arts, and has a glorious gallery of pictures. 

Macaulay is in an unsatisfactory state. Whether India or 
overwork, or both, have damaged his strong constitution, I 
cannot learn ; but he seems to have grown very weak and 
ailing. But I hope he will rally. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Leonard Horneb, Esq. 

Boston: July 11, 1853. 

My dear Homer, — Lord EUesmere's illness, and the un- 
certainty as to what I may be called upon to do in the 
event of his absence, has kept me in some doubt, but I hope 
still he will rally, as he usually does rapidly, and not dis- 
appoint the meeting, and this I expect will be the end of it. 
I find educational matters more eagerly discussed than ever, 
and a growing conviction that the whole system must give 
way, simply because with the doubling of the population 
and trebling of the wealth, students on the old foundations 
do not augment in number. They have cheapened education, 
but it will not do, and finally they are coming to the reluc- 
tant confession, that as a large part of the people will do 
without Latin and Greek, but will have science and modern 
literature, they must provide the articles they want. 

In. New England, at New York, and in Philadelphia, I 
heard precisely the same declarations, and they have been made 
at public meetings since my arrival. It is evidently a crisis. 
Fortunately they have neither mediaeval endowments to 
render them independent of modern public opinion, nor eccle- 
siastical collegiate governments to prevent them from adopt- 
ing a radical change. They are going to work in good earnest. 

There are so many sectarian colleges, that it will be some 
time before any one grows big enough to subdivide sciences 
as they require. 

Agassiz is quite recovered and at work. Dr. Leidy made 
professor at Philadelphia, aged only thirty-five, and a first- 
rate osteologist and comparative anatomist. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltill. 

190 S/K CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvm 

To His Wipe. 

Osborne : Aagnst 23, 1853. 

My dearest Mary, — I made ont my journey and voyage 
very successfully. The parterre of flowers was in great 
beauty, and the views of the sea in spite of cloudy weather 
very pleasing. 

I got here between six and seven, and Lord Clarendon 
arrived alone just after. I was very glad to find that he was 
to be the Minister in attendance. As usual, he has made 
himself very agreeable. He has been reading Lord EUes- 
mere's speech in my paper, and likes it much ; the Prince is to 
have it by and by. At dinner we had, besides the household. 
Count Mensdorf, the Duchess of Kent's nephew, Austrian 
Ambassador to St. Petersburg. After dinner, when four of 
the household played whist, the Prince had a long talk with 
Lord Clarendon and me about the United States, foreign 
politics, and University reform. Very frank, and both going 
as far as I do in most things, and never clashing in senti- 

The Prince then invited us to join the ladies and sit down 
at their table, and I was asked by the Queen news of New 
York doings, and made them merry with Soft-shell, Old 
Hunkers, &c., and gave an account of the Exhibition pro- 
spects. United States prosperity, &c. 

I shall try and drive over to Ryde this afternoon, if the 
Queen and Piince drive out. Lord Clarendon has proposed 
returning with me to town, which will be very pleasant. How 
they are overworked ! We parted at a quarter-past eleven 
o'clock, and Lord Clarendon found, to his dismay, five red 
boxes with State papers from London in his bedroom ! He 
told me he had hoped the interval of salt water would have 
stopped them. I am enjoying myself much, and only wish 
you were here. It is a very pleasant residence, like a small 
German Principality palace. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chj^bles Lyell. 

1854. MADEIRA. 191 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Madeira: January 1854. 

My dear Homer, — I have been wishing to send you 
some account of my geological results in Madeira, but have 
been so actively employed in the field, that I have had 
barely time to write my notes each evening. Besides, I am 
continually modifying, and improving as 1 hope, my views of 
the structure of the island, which far exceeds in interest any- 
thing I had anticipated, as it does in picturesque beauty any 
region of equal extent I ever saw ; Switzerland not ex- 

The sea-cliffs and innumerable ravines, both of great 
depth, display the rocks very finely, but the ravines and 
deep valleys make it a long affair to get from one spot to 
another, which looks an easy morning's walk. The horses 
can climb admirably, and even leap up a succession of rocky 
steps, to which I have now got accustomed, and feel safer 
than on my own legs. 

My companion, Mr. Hartung,® is very zealous, and his 
agricultural, entomological, and botanical pursuits had made 
him in the last three winters get up the physical geography 
and language well, and some beginning of geology ; so he 
helps me very much, and is an apt scholar. He also draws 
tolerably, and improves in this daily. 

I have satisfied myself that Smith of Jordanhill was 
right in attributing a sub-aerial origin to the volcanic rocks 
of this island generally, although Vernon Harcourt has since 
disputed that opinion. I have now seen more than either 
of them did, and have visited the only part where marine 
formations are known above the level of the sea. They reach 
a height, not of 1,600 feet, as reported, but of 1,200, as deter- 
mined by my barometer. I have found waterwom pebbles 
of the usual Madeira volcanic rocks in these same beds, 
which contain corals and sea-shells; such pebbles are 
entirely wanting in the volcanic breccias which all over 
the island contain angular fragments thrown out by ex- 
plosions. There is one example of an impure lignite, and 

* Mr. George Hartung, of Eonigsberg, author of Travels in Norway^ &a 

192 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvil 

a leaf-bed under basalt, in which I have been the first to 
find leaves ; a greater mixture of ferns with dicotyledonous 
leaves than Charles Bunburj has seen in any other tertiary 
formation. He has found about five species of ferns, 
Pecopterisy Sphenopteris, Adiantites (?), &c., and has not 
quite examined all my specimens, most of which have been 
obtained for me by a peasant, whom I have kept at work 
ever since I found out the spot, which like most of the best 
geological localities here, is rather inaccessible. One really 
ought to have a tent, so much time is spent in going and 
coming back, but there is much to see upon the way, which 
makes up somewhat for the exertion. On the great ques- 
tion whether the Curral is or is not a crater, on which 
Darwin will be curious, I have made up my mind that it is 
not. In general this island confirms his doctrine, that if all 
valleys were cut by rivers alone, they would be very narrow, 
though they might be of any depth, and that the sea is the 
great widening power. The question then arises, whether 
the two principal central valleys of Madeira, the Curral and 
that of the Serra d'Agoa, could be as wide as they are if 
due to aqueous and fluviatile erosion alone, aided by the 
gradual upheaval of the rocks to the height of 1,200 and per- 
haps more feet, which the marine strata have reached, 
during which upheaval the original flattened dome has 
I presume acquired a more convex form, in accordance so far 
with the ^ Erhebung's ' theory, provided time enough be 
allowed for the uplifting. But I find the beds very much 
nearer horizontality in the central region, where they 
are highest, and the dip which they have from 3° to 7** is by 
no means always away from the central valleys, as stated to 
be the case in the Caldera of Palm a. Besides, these central 
vall(»ys radiate outwards to the sea, both to the north and 
south, unlike the case of Palma ; the dome was of an elliptical 
form, as there was not one habitual volcano, but a chain of 
rents, like a miniature Andes. 

In the middle or axis of the chain, sub-aerial volcanic 
matter, 4,000 feet deep, is seen to be piled up. The basalts 
accumulated between numerous cones of eruption, and then 
flowed away in all directions, occasionally encountering and 
burying lateral cones, some of which are exposed in the lofty 

1854. GEOLOGY. 193 

sea-cliffs. What surprises me is, that the sheets of basalt 
are scarcely, if at all, more inclined than at first, yrhere 
nearest the great focus of eruptions, whereas they have a 
slope from 9° to 13% and sometimes rather more, as they re- 
cede from it. Dikes are innumerable in the central region, 
and are fewer nearer the sea, unless where a transverse or 
north and south volcanic axis branches off, and presents on 
a smaller scale an epitome of the whole island. One of these, 
at Cape Giram, has its anatomy finely laid open by a nearly 
vertical sea-cliff 1,600 feet high, where I have counted 120 
dikes, some of them running from the base of the cliff to the 
top. Even in this section the basalts are most horizontal 
where the dikes are most numerous. The modern rivers 
have left beds of pebbles 100 and 130 feet above the present 
channels; precipices which bound them are so steep that 
higher ones cannot be preserved, for they get undermined 
and fall down. 

Believe me ever yours affectionately, 

Charles Ltell, 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Lazzaretto, Santa Cruz, Teneriffe: February 21, 1854. 

My dear Homer, — Although I have only time to give you 
a brief outline of the results of my last two or three weeks* 
work in Madeira, I must endeavour to do this before I am ab- 
sorbed in this new field of interest in the Canaries. At last 
I found beds of pebbles, which I believe to have been rolled 
by rivers under currents of lava in Madeira, and like the 
fossil plants alluded to in my last letter, and more of which 
were discovered up to the last, these pebbles prove that there 
was here a volcanic island built up by a series of sub-aerial 
eruptions. I had also the pleasure of finding a set of 
trachytic lavas and tuffs 900 feet thick, at Porto da Cruz, all 
newer than an older and more inclined basaltic series, show- 
ing that one set of movements was over, and the erosion of 
one set of valleys completed, before some important portions 
of the volcanic operations had begun. Such conclusions you 
will see, respecting the north-east of the island, are in harmony 
with the different ages which I ascribed to the Cape Giram 


194 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxv 

lieds in the south. I was able to prove by repeated risits 1 
that grand aea-cliff section, that the jaxtaposition of tl 
highly inclined and the horizontal beds was owing to a gret 
dislocation, bat I must not dwell on that now. 

Besides Bome beds of waterwom allQTial gravel covere 
by trachytic lava at Porto du. Cmz, I found at Camera d 
Lobes, near Fnnchal, some tnfaceous alluviums, with slight! 
abraded blocks overspread by layers of columnar banal 
But after a nine weeks' search, I never met with a sing] 
river bed with lava resting upon it, no old fluviatile gran 
conforming to the present valleys, or even approaching to 
coincidence of position with what are now the lowest level 
upon which a stream of lava had flowed. I therefore sup 
posed that Madeira daring its growth was not like Auvergn 
or the Olot district in Spain, but like Etna, where there ar 
no torrents or rivers or springs, not even in the Val del Bov« 
where the cattle have to be supplied with the water of meltei 
snow, or like Mouna Loa in the Sandwich Isles, where : 
dome of much lai^er dimensions is, I think, described b 
Dana as without running water, though not without rain. 

Yon Buch saw but little of Madeira, or it would certainl; 
have been regarded by him as a 'crater of elevation.* I 
the Curral, and tlie Serra d'Agoa, two great central valleys 
be given up as craters, and regarded as valleys of erosion 
still Madeira would resemble the Mont d'Or and the Canta 
all the more for not having any great central crater. Th 
existence of a marine deposit at one point north of the eaa 
and west axis, rising to about 1,200 feet above the sea^level 
shows that here, as in the case of Etna and Somma, ther 
has been upheaval in some shape and to a certain amouni 
and in Madeira, as in the case of the Neapolitan and Siciliai 
volcauos, the earlier eruptions were submarine, for th 
shells and corals are associated with rolled volcanic frag 
meots and tuff. But besides this, there is such a tilting o 
some masses of solid lava away from the central axis as t< 
imply that much of the principal movement was of a kind ti 
cause the beds to dip away from the force of eruption 
althougli, as I said before, there are large spaces at grea 
elevations, from 2,200 to 5,000 (?) feet high, where there ar^ 
plateaus at or near the centre of the island, where the bed 


of basalt have a slight dip, not more than I conceive they 
may have had originally. In this respect Madeira differs 
from Palma and Teneriffe, so far as I know the latter by Von 
Bach's descriptions. 

A great proportion of the dikes are older than the in- 
clined basalts, and others as old, and it would seem some- 
thing of a paradox if we found that the grand explosion and 
upheaval was reserved till all the ordinary volcanic energy 
was spent, although we might perhaps imagine that when 
the safety-valve was closed, the subterranean force might 
expend itself in uplifting and injecting the rocks below. 
Let us see then whether we can reconcile the different 
theories of the eruption and elevation schools, so that by 
the aid of both we may account for what I have regarded as 
facts of a conflicting character. In the first place we have 
abundance of evidence that had there never been any eleva- 
tion whatever, Madeira would have been a lofty island about 
4,500 feet high, formed by a long series of supramarine 
eruptions which gave rise to mountains more than 4,000 
feet high, consisting from top to bottom of volcanic tuff, and 
breccias and scoriee, lapilli, cinders, and lavas, and slightly in- 
clined basalts flowing away in all directions, east, west, north, 
and south, for miles, perhaps far beyond the present limits of 
the isle, and not below the sea. I have fossils, leaves of ferns 
and dicotyledons (more than 150 specimens) showing that 
before the island was formed, it was clad with vegetation. 
In the Curral we see very deep into the interior, to within 
1,700 feet of the sea-level, and that in the middle of an 
island above 6,000 feet high. No signs there of any corals 
or shells, or such wearing or rubbing off of the angles of the 
stones included in the breccias as I invariably found in the 
Porto Santo and S. Vincente marine volcanic conglomerates. 

This hypothesis, therefore, of the upheaval of the island, so 
far from explaining its structure, would involve us in many 
perplexities. In the first place there are no raised shingle 
beaches, no tuffs containing sea-shells, a leaf bed only 900 
feet above the sea-level covered by tuffs and lavas 1,200 feet 
thick, &c. Mr. Smith's * suggestion that some parts of the 
coast of the isle have sunk since the volcanic period would 

• Of Orotava. 
o 2 

196 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvii. 

perhaps explain maeli more, but I will not at present discuss 
that view. 

The conclusion to which I am coming is this, that there 
has been a prodigious succession of periods of volcanic erup- 
tion both along the central east and west axis of eruption, 
and along certain north and south lines, and finally, and at 
a/ later season, along the coasts. In this small chain, thirty 
or thirty-five miles long, as in the greater one of the Andes, 
all the volcanos were not active at the same time. Some 
were extinct ages before others broke out; yet there was 
such a similarity in the products of all, and in the mode of 
rending, injecting, and dislocating the rocks already formed, 
that the general result throughout the whole chain was very 
uniform, the general structure and composition nearly the 
same, and the numerous local exceptions only discoverable 
after much study. 

But I must conclude, for the arrival of the Cadiz steamer 
has made us determine to avail ourselves of its aid to visit 
the Grand Canary, and Mary, Mr. Hartung, and I go there 
to-morrow morning ; but I shall leave others to send you all 
the news not strictly geological. 

The climate of Madeira was like that of a good English 
summer, never too hot for work in the field, and never cold, 
even when one was wet with a shower. In the small grounds 
of the Lazzaretto here, over which we are allowed to walk, 
Messrs. Bunbury and Hartung gathered forty-eight wild 
j>lant8 in flower. With love to all, believe me ever yours 
atfectionately, Charles Lyell. 

To Mrs. Bunbury. 

11 Harley Street, London : June 10, 1854. 

Dearest Frances, — I was very glad to learn from your 
last letter to Mary that you had not forgotten the baro- 
metrical calculations.^ 

I received the other day a letter from Joseph Hooker 
from Hadleigh, in which he gives all his reasons for thinking 
Coniferae as highly developed dicotyledons as any others, 
liiid above monocotyleds. In this he differs from Ad. 
Brougniart. Henslow sends word that he concurs. I should 

* Made by Mrs. Bimburj in Madeira. 


like to show the letter to your husband and get his criticisms. 
But it is a precious document, as I have to allude to the 
question when treating of the carboniferous flora. 

Please send all possible objections to the views of Hooker 
and Henslow, It is curious that in a number of * Silliman ' just 
received, Agassiz, in a paper on ancient fauna) and fioree, 
asserts that they were at every ancient period as varied as 
now, but that the grade of the highest was not so high as 
now. The supposed fact of all the Stonesfield mammalia 
being marsupial made him despise the pouched animals. 
Afterwards Owen found the Thylacotherium (or Amplithe- 
rium) to be placental or monodelphous. Now a grand discovery 
has been made last Wednesday. Owen read a paper on a 
new Purbeck (Upper Oolite) mammifer, a new genus of the 
mole family, allied to Talpa aurea or the Chrysochlore of the 
Cape, allied also to Thylacotherium. Several perfect lower 
jaws with teeth in good condition, a true non-marsupial 

Truly the oolite is looking up, and it is the more striking 
since the chalk (Wealden and all) still refuses to yield up 
auy of its mighty dead, if it has any to disgorge, as I expect 
it has. But if not, it only shows that their absence is no 
argument that in older beds more advanced forms were not 

What does Charles think of Hooker's notion that there 
were some grasses in the coal ? No doubt it would better 
suit the progressive theory if they came in long afterwards. 
It would be more orthodox that Nature should first try her 
hand at some easier feat. If I might paraphrase the lines 
of Burns, 

On ferns she tried her *prentice hand, 
And then she made the grasses, ; 

but I must really have done. The Duke of Argyll, at the 
levSe yesterday, had a long talk with me about my speech at 
the Geological Society on Owen's paper, and he said, * You 
will never get over the absence of mammalia in the coal 
which has been so well worked, and contains more dirt beds 
than the Purbeck.' This was a good hit, and, as I confessed 
to him, the strongest point on that side ; but on negative 
evidence the coal was without land quadrupeds, birds, sau- 

108 SI/^ CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxvii. 

rians, chelocians, ophidians, land crabs, air-breathing mol- 
lusca (save two individuals which I found), insects, save 
three or four individuals, no helices, no lymneas or planorbis, 
Ac. &c. In short, it proves too much when the marine 
fauna was so perfect. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Leonabd Hobneb, Esq. 

11 Harley Street, London : August 12, 1854. 

My dear Horner, — Edward Forbes is come to town for a 
short stay, and I must get out my Grand Canary and Madeira 
fossil shells to show him. Murchison has come out with a 
very useful book on * Silaria,' well done, and much new mat- 
ter on Coal and Old Red, as well as older things. I shall 
have to controvert one chapter on * a long period when the 
invertebrate animals alone existed.' 

I asked M'Andrew yesterday how many vertebrae or 
any remains of dead fish he dredged up on the Dogger Bank 
or the great * Ling Banks ' or cod-fishing grounds off Shet- 
land. To my astonishment he replied, * I never drew up one 
bone or tooth, though sometimes live fish came up in the 
mud. Once I got what I thought was a tooth of some ver- 
tebrate animal, but it proved to be of an echinus.' He ima- 
gines that future geologists will find no signs of the exist- 
ence of fish in the sand and mud of the great fishing-banks 
of Newfoundland ! Yet you remember in the ' Principles ' 
1 had a * bone-bed ' in the sea of the Hebrides, so we have 
an Upper Silurian bone-bed. Huxley is established at the 
Museum of Practical Geology ; he is coming on fast in Pa- 
leontology. Elie de Beaumont was here for two days, and 
made himself very pleasant. He is looking well. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To C. J. F. BuNBUBT, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London : November 13, 1854. 

My dear Bunbury, — I have been intending from day to 
day to write and thank you for your former letter, in which 
you gave me an account of the conversion of the ^gilops 


into wheat, which I shall keep for next edition of the ' Prin- 
ciples.' Hooker seems to believe it, though in general not 
so prone as Lindlej to entertain such ideas. 

When we were at Charles Darwin's we talked over this and 
other like matters, and Hooker astonished me bj an account 
of an orchideous plant ^ sent, I think, by Schomburgk from 
Brazil, and which on different branches of the same indi- 
vidual specimen contained flowers previously referred to 
three distinct orchideous genera, some of the said genera 
having had several species referred to them. You probably 
know about this, which will figure in C. Darwin's book on 
* Species,* with many other * ugly facts,' as Hooker, clinging 
like me to the orthodox faith, calls these and other abnormal 
vagaries. I think Joseph Hooker said that each of the three 
so-called genera, now resolved into one and the same species 
by Sir Robert Schomburgk's specimen, were morphologically 
distinct on many different points. I have learnt all I could 
from the Bury paper of your lecture, which was, I think, 
very well imagined, and not dry, as it might have been if 
too botanical. There are no end of desirable illustrations of 
plants, if one could set Henslow to work in his Michael An- 
gelo style ; a name rarely conveys an idea to a class without 
a picture. 

Of my four species of Bryozoa from the Grand Canary, 
one is recent and three unknown, so says the first-rate 
authority, Mr. Busk. I imagine the age may be Miocene or 
falunian ; but this is a mere guess as yet. The San Yincente 
sub-marine beds were volcanic, or contemporary with erup- 
tions, whether upraised before Madeira existed as a volcano 
I cannot say. But as the mass of Madeira is of supramarine 
origin, this San Yincente bed must have been its foundation, 
I suppose. It is a good question. Porto Santo is strictly 
an analogous case, an upraised volcano of submarine origin, 
and a superstructure of sub-aerial lava. 

Sebastopol is an anxious business. The lateness of the 
season is, I suspect, chiefly owing to Lord Aberdeen never 
having intended anything but a demonstration in the Medi- 
terranean, and never in earnest. This I think I know 

' Catasetum, described in the Fertilisation of Orchids, by Charles Darwin, 
and referred to in the Origin of Species, 

200 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvit 

through private sources. The Czar knew it, and did not 
budge, of course. 

I hope to comply with your friend Lord Arthur Hervey's 
wishes ' some day, not a distant one. Meanwhile I am very 
glad your lecture went off, as I fully expected it would, so 
well, and that you are going to repeat it. I am sure that 
what Dr. Franklin said of Wesley's field-preaching and ex- 
temporaneous discourses, that the most effective were those 
he had often given, so is it with lectures. Each time yon will 
improve the same subject ; you know better the value of the 
hour, and measure the relative importance and popularity of 
the subjects better, and waste no time in saying how little 
time you have, though I do not hear that you did so, but 
most men do. 

With love to Frances, believe me, ever affectionately 

Chables Ltell. 

* The present Bishop of Bath and Wells, who requested him to give a 
lecture at Bury St. Edmunds. 



JANUAET 1865 — AUGUST 1866. 


[In 1855 and the two following years, Sir Cliarles and Lady Lyell 
spent several months of each year travelling on the Continent, always 
with the view of geological inquiry. The University of Oxford, his 
Alma Mater, conferred upon him the degree of D.C.L. in 1854, and he 
attended the British Association at Glasgow that year.] 

To His Sistee. 

63 Harley Street, London : January 2, 1855. 

My dear Caroline, — I enclose a letter from Sir Walter C. 
Trevelyan of Wallington, supposing you must be the in- 
dividual alluded to, who having found a rare insect, wished 
to keep the hahitat to yourself. I wrote to say that we 
never kept it a secret, but that as I had given away all the 
duplicates I had here, I would ask you if you could send one 
or two to Sir W. Trevelyan, by post in a small box with cork, 
or as you think best, and I asked him to acknowledge 
direct to you their safe arrival, if safe. He alludes to poor 
Edward Forbes's death, which is indeed the greatest loss of 
an active scientific friend I have ever sustained, and as he 
was but thirty-nine, so unexpected. We are getting up two 
London memorials to him, to which I subscribe. His death 
and Mr. M'llvaine's of New Jersey, and Lord Cockbum's, 
are a great many in one year, and among geologists much 

202 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxviil 

younger tlian myself, whom I often saw, Mr. Strickland, run 
over by a railway. 

It makes one feel as one grows older mucli as the officers 
in the Crimea must feel, that they are surrounded by com- 
panions whom one may never see again, a few weeks or 
months hence, and it seems strange how little one is checked 
in one's own proceedings, and how one coolly purchases a 
lease of sixteen and a half years of this house. 

With my love to all, and a happy new year, believe me 
your affectionate brother, Chables Ltell. 

To Geoege Haetung, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London : January 21, 1855. 

Dear Hartung, — Tour letter, dated January 4, reached 
me several days ago. You make steady progress as a geo- 
logical artist, and I think the view of Funchal and the S. 
Martinbo range with Cape Giram and Pico Bodes range in 
the distance, is a particularly truthful sketch. 

I chipped off with a small hammer, some three weeks ago, 
nine small fragments of rock, from as many specimens which 
I collected when with you, and sent them duly numbered in 
a letter by post to M. Delesse at Paris. No mineralo- 
gist and analytical chemist is perhaps so good an authority 
as he is. In a few days he sent back an answer, and had 
found, by aid of the microscope, minute crystals of all the 
minerals, larger crystals of which were in the big pieces I 
kept here. First I sent the * yellow concentric ' from Sitio do 
Poizo and another place, calling it basalt. He replies, we in 
France should call it basalt, but I did not expect that you 
would; as it is made exclusively of greenish felspar and 
olivine without any au^ite, ' therefore would you not in Eng- 
land call it trap?' Certainly I had imagined that the darkish 
grey colour was derived from augite, though I was aware that 
it consisted in great part of felspar. Other rocks, which I 
called basalt, he also named the same. 

I hope when you return to London to know much more 
about the Madeira and Canary Island rocks. I shall send 
you a copy of my book with the report I have given of the 
result of our joint observations. It would be better for you 

1855. BERLIN. 203 

and me to see a country of recent or active volcanos next. 
But you are well employed in Madeira. Pray go to the Pico 
of Camera de Lobos and see the lava (?) or scoriaceous mass 
on the flanks of the hill which I often wished to go up to. 

The Bunburys and Lady Lyell desire to be remembered 
to you. I will try and report in my next letter on the Grand 
Canary organic remains, some of which are curious. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Leonabd Hoekee, Esq. 

Berlin : March 24, 1855. 

My dear Horner, — We have spent our time very plea- 
santly and happily here.^ I returned this morning from an 
expedition to the Kreutzberg to see the boulder sand and 
clay, which I think has undergone a good deal of rearrange- 
ment since it first began its travels from Scandinavia. My 
companions were Beyrich, Ewald, and Dr. Eoth. One or two 
mornings' work with Mitscherlich have been very profitable. 
He, Gustave Rose, and Dr. Both went to Vesuvius and 
Stromboli and Vulcano. At Stromboli those three men 
established the important fact, that from the modem crater of 
Stromboli have proceeded continu(yus streams of lava twelve 
feet deep and 100 broad, of dolerite as compact as the ordi- 
nary lavas of Etna and of exactly similar composition, and 
that the same lavas are now and have been from the first on 
slopes of 15% 20% and 29°. What shall we think now of 
Elie de Beaumont's and Dufresnoy's assertion that no con^ 
tinuous stream could form on the least of these inclinations. 

Scacchi's account of the eruption of Vesuvius in 1850, and 
all that happened there between 1845 and 1850, a copy of 
which Mitscherlich lent me to read, is highly interesting, and 
quite unfavourable to Von Buch's theory and to Dufresnoy's 
facts and views. In one paper Scacchi is so astonished at 
Dufresnoy's assertions, who never walked once over one 
whole side of Somma, that he says in so many words, * that 
if the French savant was ever at Naples, he could never have 
gone out of his house, or only by night.' 

It is strange what influence Von Buch exerted, for he 

> With Chevalier and Madame Perts, Lady Lyell*g sister. 

204 SIR CHARLES LYEUL chap, xxviif. 

has made both Ewald and Beyrich entirely disbelieye all the 
glacial hypothesis. The other day I told Mitscherlich I 
would convert them both, and he said (both of them being 
present, and laughing at the joke), * No, you will never do 
that, for the one (pointing to Beyrich) is like a stone, and 
the other like india-rubber; you think you are making a 
great impression, and then find next day that up he comes 
again just in his former shape/ 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyelu 

To Dk. Joseph Hookek. 

53 Harley Street: July 17, 1866. 

My dear Hooker, — I have to thank you for your valuable 
volume on the * Flora Indica.' Your introductory essay is a 
great treat, and I must study it carefully with reference to 
the * Principles of Geology,* as I may some day have an 
opportunity of correcting and enlarging my views. I have 
also to observe that 1 was gratified at your note at p. 40, 
because Bunbury once told me that Henfrey, in some general 
work of his, had said that Edward Forbes was the first to strike 
out that line. I never thought it worth while to allude to 
this, as I have tried not to spend any time or words in 
making * reclamations,' though, I suppose, that if my books 
had not had so large a sale, I should have given way to that 
weakness, as I see so many others do. 

I am glad you have two full indexes. I would have put 
the whole into one. I am sure that, as a rule, it is best, 
however heterogeneous the subjects, to have one only at the 
end, for one finds a word easier in a large than in a short 
index, and one knows exactly where to find it. But this is 
a trifling matter in a volume which one sees at once is the 
result of such a vast body of new facts. The maps are most 

De Candolle has just sent me his two volumes, but I have 
not had time to look at them. 

I have had a week's steady work in the Wealden district, 
studying the problem of * denudation,' but I must conclude. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

1855. HUGH MILLER. 205 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Shielhill : September 5, 1855. 

My dear Homer, — You mention in your letter to Mary 
how much you were interested in Hugh Miller's * Schools and 
Schoolmasters/ a biography every page of which we read 
with delight, though I quite agree with you in wishing he 
had kept to his prose. I found the man quite equal to my 
expectations from his books. I had always missed seeing 
him before, and narrowly did so this time, as he arrived in 
Edinburgh the day after us, after a three weeks' ramble. 
He welcomed me most heartily, and was entirely at my dis- 
posal for two days, and would have accompanied me longer, 
whether in the field or the museum, had I had time. His 
remarks on other geologists were very just, and his criticism 
also, with a generous appreciation of their merits. He is 
quite as willing to learn as to teach, and I got a great many 
new ideas, both in going over .his beautiful collection, and in 
walking over Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Craigs. I had 
a walk to the top of Blackford Hill with Charles Maclaren, 
who was very well, and fuD of geology. Dr. Fleming has a 
notion of giving us something on Edinburgh, and I wish he 
would. I had two good talks with him, and a walk over the 
Calton Hill, and over the coast of Eif e from Kinghom to 
Kirkcaldy. I view the Edinburgh and Fife rock with very 
diflPerent eyes now, since Madeira and the Canaries. They 
are in part intrusive, in part sub-aerial in my opinion, in part 
estuarian, like the associated Burdie-house coal measures, 
which last are the lower portion of the coal series. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Chables J. F. Bunbtjrt, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London r October 6, 1855. 

My dear Bunbury, — I am afraid, from a letter which 
Symonds has written to me this morning, that you have had 
rather more than an ordinary share of bad weather, but I 
hope you will make out a visit to him. 

In Phillips' new edition of his * Geology,' just out, he makes 

206 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxvhl 

the Lingula beds CambriaD, just as I do, whicb I am glad 
of, as, however Murchison may complain, it is really we that 
are adhering to the original divisions and names adopted by 
Murchison and Sedgwick. It would be wrong to give up 
the term Cambrian just when we are beginning to have a 
distinct fauna for it, as Salter was the first to show here, 
and Barrande in Bohemia. Sedgwick's attempt to take the 
Lower Silurian into his Cambrian is even worse than Murchi- 
son claiming all that is older than the Devonian as apper- 
taining to his Silurian. 

Tell Symonds that I yesterday had a talk with Murchi- 
son about the Dumfries beds. He says, when he first saw 
them he felt, as he does now, that no such sandstones, 
speaking lithologically, were ever seen by him in England or 
elsewhere in the true trias. 

I am glad that Frances has made Mr. Symonds' acquaint- 
ance, and that she is enjoying herself. 

Believe me ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His Sisteb. 

53 Harley Street, London : January 5, 1866. 

My dear Caroline, — I am actually going to dine at Lady 
Coltman's alone, for Mary is not well enough, having been 
in bed instead of breakfasting with me, for the second time 
only since our marriage. There was something like an epi- 
demic at Mildenhall, though certainly Leonard and Frank • 
were merry enough, and some others, but I presume that 
Harry and Katharine gave you the news of our merry- 
making there. 

I was shocked to find poor Curtis * so nearly deprived of 
sight, and expecting to be soon quite blind ; the night I met 
him there was a discussion at the Linnsean Society as to 
the cause of the very unusual number of moths, especially 
of the Noctua family, in the summer of 1855. President 
Bell, who is now proprietor of the house which White owned 
at Selborne, said that there had only been one-fourth the 
usual number of birds' nests in the spring of 1855 ; others 
attributed the abundance of the Lepidoptera nociuma gener- 

* His nephews. • The entomologist. 


ally to the scarcity of birds killed by severe winters. Curtis 
said this could scarcely explain the case of the Noctua 
tribe, since they get through their first change the autumn 
or summer before they come out in wing. The result was 
that many rare moths were common and many new ones were 
taken. I suppose the ' Entomologists' Annual ' will give you 
some report of this. 

I had some good geological walks with Charles Bunbury, 
most of them dry enough, although on the immediate 
borders of that fenny region which Macaulay describes 
early in his third volume * as saturated with all the moisture 
of fourteen counties.* Macaulay's is certainly a work to 
read slowly, and to buy, not borrow. It is full of all kinds 
of interest, and even the criticisms one hears on all sides 
show how much it occupies the public mind. I hear that 
his health is worse than ever. He has a bad cough, and few 
expect we shall ever see two more volumes. How often he 
must have waded through a shelf of MS. to be able to say in 
a single sentence that there is no evidence in such and such 
memoirs of certain popular stories. Some single chapters 
imply the perusal of a room full of books and records. 

Prescott's * Philip II.* is very interesting. Not a few 
readers complain that there is a want of expression of vir- 
tuous indignation on the part of the historian at the crimes 
of Philip II. But he makes him out to be a villain of the 
deepest dye, and all from his own royal letters. In regard 
to the autO'dAi-fSB^ or murders perpetrated against heretics, 
I think Prescott naturally makes great allowance, as in 
those times every well brought up young lady in Spain who 
was not a dissenter, would have sat and seen a Ptotestant 
burnt alive with no small satisfaction, and when the Inquisi- 
tion were torturing thousands to death, with the sympathy, 
of all or nine-tenths of the Spaniards on the same side, 
one must not judge the monarch as severely as we should 
Isabella II. if she should try now to imitate her Most 
Catholic ancestor. 

With my love to all, believe me your affectionate brother, 

Chakles Ltell. 

208 SJR CHARLES LYELL. CHiip. xxviii. 

To Db. Flemikg. 

63 Harlej Street, London : Febnuuy 6, 1 

Mjdear Dr. Flemiog, — Lord Wrottesley, at the insta r o« , 
presume, of the Committee of the British Association, left oat 
two or three passages, in which in a tone complimentary to 
members of the ecclesiastical profession who are in earnest 
as churchmen, I had explained my reasons for objecting to 
ecclesiastics holding chairs of Natural History, Ac. Ton 
know my reasons because they are in print, and will, I hope, 
refer any objector to my chapter on * Oxford and University 
Eef orm ' in my first * American Travels.' Ton will also point 
out as a verification of my arguments founded on past ex- 
perience, three remarkable illustrations of the soundness of 
my objection to the clergy, especially if they be eminent ; 
that Backland, from the time Le was preferred to a Deanery, 
held and neglected his Geology Chair at Oxford ; that Sedg- 
wick did the same at Cambridge, or was less efficient when 
resident Canon at Norwich ; and worst of all, that Henslow 
whose influence when resident in the University was so great 
over the young men, no sooner became the conscientious pastor 
of an ignorant Suffolk flock, than three-fourths of his use- 
fulness as Professor of Botany was at an end, and still he 
retains his chair ! Say that I was in some degree a prophet 
rather than a bigot. I hope I am not to infer that the 
Natural History Chair is inefficiently filled in Auld Eeekie, 
I never saw the Professor, and God knows gave him no help. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Chaeles Bunbuet, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : February 19, 1856. 

My dear Bunbury, — I was very glad to hear an account 
of the Hypnum fluitans, 

Hartung has written to Professor Heer to invite him to 
send his S. Jorge fossil plants to me, that I may submit 
them to your inspection. I have made acquaintance with 
Mr. Wollaston, the nephew and representative of Dr. Wol- 
laston, who has spent several years in the Madeiras, camping 


out on the Deserta and in Porto Santo and on all manner of 
so-called inaccessible heights in Madeira, pitching his tent 
on the summit of Pico Ruivo among other spots. 

I have learned much conchologically and entomologicallj 
from him. The beetles are wonderful in their distribution, 
each island and almost every rock having its own. So 
many peculiar to the Madeiras, several hundred, and apterous 
although of genera not wingless in Europe or elsewhere, &c. 
Query, was it not foreseen that wings would only cause them 
to be blown out to sea and drowned ? The winged kinds may 
date back to the period of the old Atlantis. 

The shells common to the Madeiras and southern Europe, 
about a dozen of them, can be almost all proved to have been 
introduced by man, and the date of their radiation from 
Funcbalis often known. A Lymnea truncatella got in thirty 
years ago, and has gone all over the island. A friend of 
Wollaston received a flower from Europe in a pot very 
lately, and found five species of European helices alive, 
buried in the mould. But although the fossil species of 
Madeira and Porto Santo are seventy-five in number, not one 
of them belong to any of these modem immigrants, and in 
the whole seventy-five, only one British, Helix lapicida, is a 
species living cut of Madeira. 

The evidence of a connection between the Atlantic group 
of islands is not strong unless it was at a very remote and 
almost Miocene epoch. But Wollaston thinks the insects 
can hardly be explained without it, though there was no 
union with Africa. He thinks there must have been a land 
of passage to enable some Canary Island species to travel 
northwards to the Salvage and Madeiras, that the migration 
was from south to noith. 

I hope when you are next in town to make you known to 
Wollaston. He is of independent fortune and no profession, 
has published on the Coleoptera of Madeira a splendid 4to, 
which Hooker and I have got the Atbenseum to purchase, 
and you will do well to read the introductory remarks. 

Ever affeciiunately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 


210 SIR CHARLES LYEUL chap, xxviil 

To Professor Oswald Heeb. 

53 Harlej Street, London : April 23, 1856. 

My dear Sir, — I received a few dajs ago both copies of 
your most valuable essay on the * Plants of S. Jorge,* and am 
very much obliged to you for them. I sent oflF one to Mr. 
Bunbury, who is reading it with great interest, but slowly, as 
he does not read German as fluently as many other modem 
languages. I will, however, take the liberty of observing, that 
your style is so clear, and the sentences of such moderate 
length, that it convinces me that what we complain of in 
regard to the involved sentences in most German authors, is 
not the fault of the language, but of the writers. 

Mr. Bunbury sees by the figures you have given that four 
of your ferns are wanting in our collection, namely : Trieho- 
manes radicaiis, Osmunda regalis, Asplenium Bunburianum, and 
A. Marinum, 

On the other hand we have three very well-marked ferns, 
and perhaps a fourth, which you have not. 

One of the most remarkable of our dicotyledonous leaves 
is not in your set. Mr. Bunbury agrees in the identification 
o{ rteris aquilina and Oreodaphne f ceteris. 

I am extremely pleased with your discussion of the old 
* Atlantis,' a subject on which I have been preparing some 
observations, especially in regard to the fossil and recent 
shells. MM. Lowe and Wollaston have of late been seven 
months under tents in Madeira, Porto Santo. They have 
satisfied themselves that Helix pisana is not truly fossil, but 
lies bleached and dead on the top of the Cani9al and Porto 
Santo shell deposit. They believe it came into the island 
with man. Indeed they admit no European shell to be truly 
fossil except Helix lapiciJa in Porto Santo, now lost in the 
Madeiras as a living species. 

They have found Helix tiarella living in the north of 
Miuleira. But these and other discoveries do not alter the 
data on which you have reasoned materially. 

I have told Wollaston of your Laparocei-us. I am in hopes 
that Mr. Bunbury will still lind some novelties to communi- 
cate in the way of species, though he and Dr. Hooker are 

1856. MADEIRA SHELLS. 211 

very timid in identifying species in comparison with your- 
self. The specimens of the fossil MyHca Faya which you 
have figured do not agree closely with any of the varieties 
of the same plant which Mr. Bunbury brought from Madeira 
and Teneriffe. 

We have more numerous and finer specimens of Wood- 
wardia than yours, and hope you will remember that Mr. 
Bunbury recognised this plant in my paper in 1854 to which 
you refer. He thinks it is W. radicans, as he allowed me to 
say at that time. 

When I asked Mr. Wollaston why there have been no 
coprophagous or dung-eating beetles created in Madeira, he 
answered because such already existed in the island, and 
they are now playing their part. I asked, * What did they 
feed on before the era of man ? ' and he said, * Pi'obably on 
decayed wood.' Believe me, my dear sir, 

Most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To C. J. F. BuNBUET, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London : April 30, 1856. 

My dear Bunbury, — I rather think that Heer stayed later 
in the year than we did in Madeira. Wollaston says that a 
botanist had almost better never go to Funchal at all, where 
the nine years' fire burnt all the native flora, and left a clear 
field for the foreign invaders. He speaks with rapture of 
getting into the interior and camping out, at the height of 
4,000 feet and upwards, on the Fanal and other native 

After what he tells me, I feel how fortunate I was in re- 
gard to geology, for certainly Funchal is a first-rate station 
for that science. 

I certainly believe that the Madeiras were islands in the 
Miocene sea, and that most of the indigenous shells came 
there after the separation, and the reason of the flora being 
80 much less peculiar than the land shells is partly that the 
latter have comparatively small powers of migration, espe- 
cially across salt water. 

Are Carices among the swamp plants which Lave a wider 

p 2 

212 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxviit. 

ran pre than plants lovinp drier grounds ? I have got some 
of their seeds (Carex) from Dr. Boott, and am making ex- 
periments as to their power of vegetating after long submer- 
gence in salt water. The seeds of Carices I find float well 
in salt water, and a marine current would carry them far 
in a short time. Many seeds will not float at all. Allowing, 
what you say is admitted by botanists, that the temperature 
of pools of water is more uniform than that of the dry land, 
the seed of a Oarex thrown ashore and getting into a fresh- 
water swamp behind a line of sea-beach, or cast on a delta, 
would be likely to thrive, while other dry-land plants would 
not find a fitting climate. 

According to Maury's last chart of the Atlantic, and his 
deep-sea soundings, I think the only way Madeira could be 
united with Europe and the Azores is by land stretching 
round and crossing the Atlantic north of the latitude of the 
Azores, and then coming south again. 

What you say of the difficulty of supposino- a connection 
with America is a good hint. Wollaston rather exclaimed 
against it as new and doubtful, entomologically speaking. 
Agassiz always maintained that the European flora was 
like that of the United States. If so [Smilax^ Cowptonia^ 
and other genera were cited in common) some Miocene 
forms coming down to our times might create a generic 
resemblance between the Madeira and American floras. 

Tlie Ancylns Jluviatilis is said to have been indigenous in 
the Madeira rivers, and lately the Portusruese introduced un- 
intentionally the Lymnea tmncatella, and it has run over the 
island in thirty years, and is said to have appeared even in 
pools and ruts in the roads. If this be so, they have powers 
of spreading which require investigation. I suspect that 
their spawn adheres to water-birds and water- insects? 

Wlien Huxley, Hooker, and Wollaston were at Darwin's 
last week, they (all four of them) ran a tilt against species 
farther I believe than they are deliberately prepared to go. 
Wollaston least unorthodox. I cannot easily see how they 
can go so far, and not embrace the whole Lamarekian 
doctrine. Huxley held forth in a lecture last week about 
the oxlip, which he says is unknown on the Continent. If 
we had met with it in Madeira and nowhere else, or the 

1856. PROFESSOR HEER. 213 

cowslip, should we not have voted them true species ? Dar- 
win finds, among his fifteen varieties of the common pigeon, 
three good genera and about fifteen good species according 
to the received mode of species and genus-making of the 
best ornithologists, and the bony skeleton varying with the 
rest 1 

After all, did we not come from an Ourang, seeing that 
man is of the Old World, and not from the American type of 
anthropomorphous mammalia ? Pray write soon. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

P. S. — M. de la Harpe of Lausanne called here one morning, 
and when I expressed my misgivings as to Heer's confidence 
about species founded on mere fossil leaves and fragments of 
leaves, he said that I ought to see Heer's collection and mode 
of work, and I should have more faith. I told him that 
Wollaston could not have felt secure without a leg or one of tlie 
antennae of the beetle, not even that it was of the division of 
the Curculionidae to which Laparocerus belongs, much less 
as to its not agreeing with any of the numerous known 
species of Laparocerus, a genus peculiar to Madeira. 

De la Harpe replied, * I am not at all surprised. Mr. 
Heer once, from a fragment of an insect's wing from (Enin- 
ghen, said what it was, and the whole insect has since turned 
up fossil, and is exactly as Heer drew it prophetically. No 
one,' he continues, * who does not make a study of elytra or 
wings as a separate branch, or of the leaves of plants, can 
imagine the resources of that branch when isolated, and 
when the entomologist or botanist feels he must rely on that 
and that only.' 

All this convinced me at least that Heer is a man of 
genius, who impresses those who come into personal contact 
with him with a complete faith in his powers. 

De la Harpe himself has converted Salter into a far 
greater belief in * foliology ' than he had before, and I saw 
tiie table in Jermyn Street covered with the leaves of numer 
ous species of figs (Ficus) to prove that many of the Isle of 
Wight Eocene leaves are true figs by their venation. C. L. 

21 4 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxviii. 

To Ds. Joseph Hooeeb. 

Hambargb : Julj 25, 1856. 

My dear Hooker, — A few minutes after you left me on 
Sunday, I fell in with the two copies of your Essay,* and 
Lave liad one as my companion for two d.^ys, during a calm 
vi^yage to this place. I had read it before, but now I have 
digested it, and so the spirit moves me to thank you for it. 
Hud I published when I returned from New Brunswick an 
Essay introductory to the Geology of that British colony, I 
should not have sold more than half a dozen copies. But 
had you gone to a publisher who knew his business, and who 
would have suggested or insisted on some general title, as 
* On Botanical Classification, with Considerations on the 
Limit of Species in the Vegetable Kingdom ' (and then in 
small type, * In Special Reference to the Flora of New 
Zealand '), * being an Introduction,' &c., you would then 
have sold a great many for the benefit of science, yourself, 
and all of us, zoologists included. Some day or other I 
would have you get out the whole of it almost verbatim, 
with selections from * Flora Indica,' to serve as canons in 
natural history. This kind of work will be very indispen- 
sable from some one of authority, seeing where we are 
drifting to ; for whether Darwin persuades you and me to 
renounce our faith in species (when geological epochs are 
considered) or not, 1 foresee that many will go over to the 
indefinite modifiability doctrine. 

If so, it will not, or ought not, to make the slightest 
difPerence in regard to the rules you lay down, and in doing 
which J on have with prophetic caution anticipated the possi- 
bility of many of your readers embracing the transmutation 
theory. But the species-multipliers will be delighted with 
a theory which sanctions to a great extent the conclusion 
that the boundaries of species are in the nature of things 
artificial, or mere human inventions, and therefore gives 
them a kind of right to affix their own arbitrary bounds. 
So long as they feared that a species might turn out to be a 
separate and independent creation, they might feel checked ; 

* Introductory Essay to the flora Antarctica. 


but once abandon this article of faith, and every man be- 
comes his own infallible Pope. In truth it is quite im- 
material to you or me which creed proves true, for it is like 
tlie astronomical question still controverted, whether our 
sun and our whole system is on its way towards the con- 
stellation Hercules. If so, the place of all the stars and 
the form of many a constellation, will millions of ages hence 
be altered, but it is certain that we may ignore the move- 
ment nowy and yet astronomy remains still a mathematically 
exact science for many a thousand year. 

You must go into the doctrine laid down at p. 13 with 
fuller explanations, and it must come to be understood that 
they who make species must be consistent with themselves, 
and make them all of co-ordinate value. If they will not 
admit your two cedars to be one species, they must then 
deny the authority of Linnaeus and other great naturalists 
who have made the primrose and cowslip one and the same. 
I cite this at random, but some such inconsistency should be 
exposed, and they should be set down as totally wanting in 
philosophical power and their synonyms never cited. I 
could furnish good examples in conchology of such utter 
neglect of relative value in the species invented by the 
ignorant, who at the same time adopt the names of their 
predecessors, which comprehend a much wider range of 
varieties in one species of the same genus. 

The speculations as to the quondam connection of the 
antarctic lands now separated by ocean are very interesting. 
I think Darwin does not enough allow for a suggestion 
which you advance, that the land from which species now 
common to A and C migrated, may have been in the space 


B now occupied by the ocean. I always incline to the idea 
that existing continental areas are in great part of post- 
eocene date, as Europe, north of Africa, and a large part of 
Asia best known, certainly are. For similar reasons spaces 
like B may have been the compensating areas of subsidence. 
Tour idea of the antarctic species going north by the 
Andes, and of the Panama Andes having once been lof tier, is 

216 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxtoi. 

very grand and probable. The marine (living) shells each side 
of the narrow isthmns of Panama are very distinct, and it is 
most probable that in the older Pliocene period that isthmus 
was higher and broader. 

Tour occasional criticisms of Edward Forbes, to whom you 
have done ample justice, interested me much, and some day 
I should like to talk them over, as well as a multitude of 
other topics. I expected you would have used ice-rafts more 
freely in the antarctic ; coupling them with oscillations of 
level in the post-miocene ages, one might get a most compli- 
cated succession of states of the same area, geographical and 

I fear much that if Darwin argues that species are 
phantoms, he will also have to admit that single centres of 
dispersion are phantoms also, and that would deprive me of 
much of the value which I ascribe to the present provinces of 
animals and plants, as illustrating modem and tertiary 
changes in physical geography. 

I am also wholly at a loss to account for such facts as you 
told me, of the Lysimaehia vulgaris in the Australian Alps, 
if we embrace the indefinite variability speculation, doing 
away with all creation, and substituting a power of in- 
dividuals to produce offspring unlike themselves, or a pos- 
terity referable to distinct species. For if such were the 
influence of external causes, one would think that the I/ytd- 
machiay or Capsella bursa-pastoris, could not retain its 
character after wandering over the globe, and that it would 
be contrary to the doctrine of chances that the individuals 
descending from common parents of a diflFerent species 
should be found in the southern and northern hemispheres 
with identical characters, each having of necessity got into 
this new state or permanent variety (or species) by quite a 
different set of changes, both as to climate and co-existing 
animals and plants. 

If such results were possible, 1 should expect the re- 
currence of the same species in distinct geological periods, 
after they had become extinct, or in abeyance for an inter- 
mediate period or two. I have seen the Zamias and Cycads 
of the Botanic Garden here, but have not yet seen Leh- 
man ; however Otto, the inspector, showed Victoria Begia in 

1856. SILESIA. 217 

flower, and all sorts of Nymphseas, which are killed, root and 
all, every winter, and yet are got up in seven weeks in great 

I am just starting to see Wiebel, the geologist. 

Believe me ever sincerely yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Warmbrann, at foot of Schneekoppe, Rieflengebirge : August 8, 1856. 

My dear Horner, — We have just been taking a walk in a 
fine evening's sunshine, to see the warm springs and the 
scenery of this beautiful watering-place; the top of the 
Schneekoppe, 4,954 feet high, quite clear, but the Schnee- 
grube, only 300 feet lower, capped with clouds and looking 
grander for the moment and loftier than its conical neighbour. 
We came here to-day from Breslau, thirty-five miles by rail, 
and about thirty more by extra post, over a good road, and 
through a very fertile and thriving country. The luilway 
took us through a brown coal country, partly covered by 
Scandinavian drift. 

When we left the plain, about 600 feet high, and got 
about 1,000 feet above the sea, we were in carboniferous and 
trap rocks chiefly, and now in granitic. Ferdinand Roemer 
and Goeppert were very attentive during our stay at Breslau. 
We had not seen Roemer since he came to us in Hart Street 
ten years ago, before he went to Texas ; he has seen much, 
and is well read in geology. Goeppert showed me his coal 
plants, and tried to persuade me that his Stigmarise were not 
roots, but a perfect plant of some aquatic species. His 
specimens in amber are very curious, and worth seeing, and 
especially under the microscope. Some large ones having 
the whole surface filled with circular convex indentations 
explain the specimens of copal which you may have seen on 
my mantelpiece in London, and which puzzled Charles Bun- 
bury, and if I remember right, Robert Brown. The amber 
which has these markings is always found buried in the 
earth, and with a coating of decomposed amber, which 
comes off ; and Goeppert says that much copal is dug up out 
of the soil at the foot of trees, &c., which produce it. He 

218 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxviil 

has a process bj which he can give this kind of sorface to 

August 9. — Yesterday Mary and I reached the highest 
summit of the Riesengebirge, an expedition well worth 
making from Warmbrunn. The latter place is about, I 
presume, 1,000 feet high, but I missed my barometer much, 
after my Madeira experience, having got accustomed to read 
off at once from the instrument, without calcTilation, an 
approximate height. The first seven miles was over a level 
region, where the granite peeps up in small knolls, and 
where there are numerous ponds, with oak, lime, birch, and 
fir. This region contrasts well with the fir^clad hilly region, 
where we left the carriage and began the ascent, I on horse- 
back, and Mary carried on a chair by two bearers. We had 
seven miles to go to the top of the Schneekoppe ; first a mile 
through a straggling village, Seydorf, with orchards and 
gardens, then into a wild country of spruce fir, with very 
vigorous undergrowth of the whortleberry, which only allows 
the heath, Calluna vulgaris^ to grow l;ere and there in 
patches. At every two or three miles, a small farmhouse, 
fitted up as an inn, serves as a resting-place, and as we had 
occasional showers, enabled us to dry our cloaks and um- 
brellas and to take refreshment while the men smoked, &c. 
After passing some clear trout streams gushing down their 
granite channels, we climbed at last to the region of Knie- 
lioltz, or brushwood, where the spruce firs which had ex- 
clusively formed the woods below become stunted, only three 
or four feet high, and nearly all the ground is occupied with 
a short fir, looking like dwarf Scotch fir, but 1 have gathered 
same branches with cones to ascertain. I believe in the 
guidebooks it is named Pinus pumilis. Here a species of 
Persicaria in flower almost equalled the dwarf pmes in height. 
Iceland moss, gathered here for lung complaints, was very 
abundant. The snow prevents any tree from getting up 
above two or three feet, but there were no * stag's horns * or 
bare boughs such as I saw on the * White Mountains ' — in 
the same zone of stunted trees. We then came to the bare 
region where there are no trees, and much rock covered with 
Lichen geographicusy and at the top some 300 or 400 feet, 
where the slope of the granite is inclined at an angle of 35** ; 

1856. BOTANY. 219 

but a zigzag road enabled us to ascend without diflBculty. I 
was disappointed at not finding the vegetation at the summit 
more alpine. The same Persicaria we had seen far below 
was still conspicuous, a species of Hieraciumy a few plants of 
heath {Calluna)^ a Luzula very abundant ; these and a few 
others we have preserved, and a red lichen which looked 
like paint on the rocks, or the colour of the French soldiers' 
trousers, and a black lichen, with many others ; but so many 
of the plants looked like those far below, that I wondered 
that 5,000 feet, even in the latitude of London, did not seem 
so arctic as the Clova hills, or hardly as the Clune, near 
Kinnordy. A traveller showed me the common Monkshood, 
and said he gathered it near the top ; we could not see it, 
but it was conspicuous below in the woody region. Patches 
of snow had remained only eight days before we were on the 

After having been so many days between Hamburgh, 
Berlin, and Breslau, in the great plain of Scandinavian gravel, 
it seemed quite strange, as it will do to you in the Hartz, 
to be in a region of purely local drift. Nothing but the 
wreck of true Riesengebirge granite and gneiss, which comes 
up to meet the granite on the south side of the highest 
ridge near the top, not one far-drifted pebble. 

For part of the day, the granite cone of the Schneeberg 
had a banner of vapour streaming from it like Etna, when 
the rest of the range was free from it. Joseph Hooker 
describes this as very singular in reference to the isolated 
and loftiest peaks of the Himalaya, and tries to explain it 

In the stunted fir-region, a dandelion- looking flower, 
which we have kept, was pointed out by our guides as 
* Arnica.* 

At Breslau (the easternmost point I have ever reached in 
my travels) Goeppert showed us his splendid brown coal tree, 
formerly called Pinus proto-laryx, 26 feet in circumference, 
but another 38 feet has since been found. The state of pre- 
servation of the wood, which divides like deal in a peat bog, 
is to me very strange ; for no matter whether the formation 
be called the lowest ^oligocene,' according to Beyrich's 
nomenclature, or by any other term, it is certainly about the 

220 S//^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxviii. 

age of the Isle of Wight series, below the Hampstead bedB, 
about the top of my Middle Eocene. 

I must send this off, trusting to Mary to say how 
pleasant a time we passed at Berlin, and to tell unscientific 
news. Humboldt was very courteous. It was a great pleasure 
to hear all were well. Mary came down quite fresh from 
the mountain, but as I had not been on horseback for an age, 
ten hours' riding with only two off the saddle, made me tired, 
till a good ten hours of bed restored me. 

Ever affectionately yours, Chakles Lyell. 

To Leonabd Hosneb, Esq. 

Prague : August 23, 1S56. 

My dear Homer, — Geinitz showed me much at Dresden. 
Not many miles from that city, to the north-west, there is a 
region where numerous deep coal shafts are sunk 1,200 feet 
deep, through chalk aud Permian into coal, so that they are 
turning the country into a manufacturing region, and getting 
it covered with railways, and threatening to make the 
capital so smoky that the Madonna di San Sisto and the 
other wonders of art may ere long run the same risk as the 
contents of our National Gallery. 

Geology has gained much by these speculations to win 
the coal at such depths. They go through chalk marl, 
under which is the lower Quader, a sandstone representing 
our upper greensand, and sometimes greenish. The roth- 
liegendes beneath this is of various thickness, associated 
with porphyries and syenites, which come in in unexpected 
places, and interfere with speculation and contracts. The 
coal is often excellent. The specimens of rothliegendes con- 
glomerate showed that brecciated character which made 
Ramsay conclude a glacial origin for some of ours, but these 
Saxon cases would not help him much, as the angles are 
often worn off. Yet as contrasted with Old Red and New Red, 
the subangular character of the fragments in these Permian 
agglomerations holds good, and is very singular. 

Our exploration of Saxon Switzerland with Gutbier as a 
guide was thorough. The scenery of that beautiful region 
derives its chief beauty and peculia)ity from the upper 


Qaader, a mass of quartzosegrit, like some millstone grit when 
coarse, and when fine just like much of our tertiary * Druid 
Sandstone/ being often 800 feet thick, and rent in two 
opposite directions, and the joints often open, and these 
joints facing the rivers, and brooks, and valleys quite per- 
pendicularly, with here and there intervals of two, four, or 
eight feet between two joints removed, yon have ravines and 
separate columns innumerable. As this mass is above the 
level of the Planer, which is lower white chalk, or grey 
chalk (the clunch clay of Strata Smith), it follows that it 
represents our white chalk. In other words the Quader of 
Saxony, a grit wholly deficient in calcareous matter, corre- 
sponds to the most purely calcareous rock of Great Britain, 
and yet contains here and there the same shells. 

I was glad we made an excursion to the country on the 
left bank on the south-west side of the Elbe in Saxon 
Switzerland, for there I saw the same Quader unbroken, and 
forming large platforms, instead of such isolated masses as at 
Konigstein, Lilienstein, and others which occur chiefly on 
the north-east side, though by the way, Konigstein is an 
exception on account of the winding of the river. From the 
Schneeberg, 2,300 feet high, where the cretaceous or Quader 
reaches its highest point, we had a fine view into Bohemia, 
the Toeplitz region, and of the Mittelgebirge, where the 
Milleschauer, a phonolitic mountain, very conical, is 2,500 
feet high, and in another direction saw the beginning of the 
Erzgebirge. Returning to the Elbe at Tetschen, Gutbier 
resumed the railway to return to his fortress of Konigstein, 
of which he is sons-commandant ; a great place, which the 
late King of Saxony, a lover of science, gave him, because he 
was a naturalist as well as a good soldier and military 
engineer, though not in the engineer corps. He regretted 
missing Charles Bunbury when he was at Dresden, as he had 
published on the fossil pLints of the Saxon Permians. We 
learnt the names of many wild plants while with him, but 
mostly English ones or Scotch. I don't know whether 
Prenanthes 'purpurea^ which was new to me, is British. The 
extreme scarcity of land shells, owing doubtless to the 
absence of calcareous matter in the Quader, is quite striking. 
Yet on the walls of the fortress of Konigstein, where arti- 

222 S/R CHARLES LYEUL chap. xxvm. 

fieially lime had come with the mortar, we found two clau- 
silias and a very singular planorbiform variety of Helix 
lapiciday which may throw light on one of my Madeira 

My excursion to Toeplitz and Bilin gave me a good idea 
of the chalk, and brown coal, and basalt, and syenite, and 
the infusoria beds of Bilin. 

The number of shafts sunk into the tertiary to obtain 
brown coal is so great between Toeplitz and Aussig, and 
the tall chimneys so numerous to pump the water out of 
the mines, that you would suppose yourself in an old coal 
country. Yet it is only Upper Eocene. 

The gorge through which the Elbe flows south of Aussig 
displays fine sections of this brown coal in the form of sand- 
stone with much basalt, and afterwards cretaceous beds. 
Planer and Quader. We then got into the valley of the 
Moldau through the old coal and overlying cretaceous, till near 
Prague we entered Barrande's Silurian of Bohemia, and here 
I found this great workman and discoverer himself, very 
much disposed to show me the principal localities of the 
1500 ! ! species of Silurian and Cambrian fossils which he 
has brought to light, nine-tenths of them distinct from the 
species of Scandinavia and England. Sternberg had only- 
worked in the old coal. 

How little did I think when La Place once pointed out 
to me, from the top of the Observatory at Paris, the number 
of new convents rising on all sides, and new Jesuit establish- 
ments, and expressed his indignation at it, that among other 
results of this bigoted course which Charles X. was then 
pursuing, would be the banishment of the Bourbons, first to 
Edinburgh and then to Prague, where, twenty-four years ago, 
Barrande, the tutor of the Due de Bordeaux, began geolo- 
gising ! He took me to the quarry where he found the first or- 
thoceras, and where we picked up many. He went with it to 
the Museum at Prague, where they assured him that Count 
Sternberg had left nothing for anyone to do in this region. 
Barrande has now 500 species of Cephalopoda from these 
beds, proving among other things, as he quite admits, that the 
moUusca, at any rate, were high enough in the scale in those 
very early days, and the very class of whose history from first 

1856. BARRAAVE'S 'COLONY? 223 

to last we know the most. I have been in two immense quar- 
ries, one in limestone and another in trap alternating with 
Silurian schist, exclusively worked by Barrande for fossils, 
and there are others of the same kind in all directions. A per- 
fect knowledge of the Bohemian language was indispensable 
for Barrande, and I have heard him talk with the peasants 
most fluently. For twenty -four years he has gone on steadily 
investigating this region, which is twenty-four French 
leagues in its longest diameter. I mean the fossiliferous 
part of the old rocks. It is very difficult to remember Bar- 
rande's nomenclature, as he only uses letters. I have already 
been twice on the ground of this famous colony, as he terms 
it, and, explain it as we may, it is the most singular and, at 
first sight at least, anomalous fact I ever remember to have 
verified in paleontological geology. 

As he puts it in his work, it is a sort of anachronism, not 
by any means equalling the Petit Coeur case of supposed 
coal plants of the Alps occurring in lias, but a small approach 
to the same kind of entanglement of two distinct faunas or 
assemblages of species, which but for these few exceptional 
localities would have been supposed to have had nothing 
whatever to do with each other, or to have belonged to two 
distinct (though consecutive) epochs. 

Tours affectionately, Chaeles Ltell. 

To His Sistes. 

Vienna : Angnst 28, 1856. 

My dearest Caroline, — I found your letter among many 
others in the Post Office, and was much interested with the 
entomological news. I bad quite made up my mind that 
Wollaston would be very glad of the contents of the box, for 
knowing yon have a good eye for insects generally, and a 
practised one for Elaphinis lapponicita, your remark to me 
that the batch was undersized struck me much, and I thought 
the Wilsons had gone up to some higher bog and got a 
smaller variety of E. lapponicus^ which would, I suspect, have 
been more curious in WoUaston's eyes than this E. uliginoms. 
I have told my bookseller to send you a copy of Wollaston's 
book on the variation of species as illustrated by insects, 
that you may see how he is at work. I have had no time to 

224 Sl/i CHARLES LYELJL chap, xxviil 

look even after Lepidoptera diuma on this tour, but have 
been struck with their perfect identity, such a& came in mj 
way, with those of England. At Dresden I saw the * Cam- 
berwell Beauty * — I forget the Linneean name — ^but at any 
rate the English name is, if I mistake not, much older 
than Linnffius, — a splendid insect on the wing. Although 
I have missed Profesror Be ass, the geologist of Prague, 
who was travelling in Moravia, I have been very lucky in 
finding the men I wanted at most of the principal places I 
have visited. The Prussians have a University (equal in 
the number of students to Bonn, though not equal to 
Berlin) at Breslau, the capital of Silesia. Herr Goeppert 
and P. Roemer, who have published good works on geology, 
were very attentive. At Dresden Professor Geinitz, whom 
I missed when last there, accompanied me on an excursion. 
But I was particularly fortunate at Prague to find Barrande, 
a Frenchman whom I had before known at Paris and 
London, who was tutor to the Due de Bordeaux formerly, and 
is now chief manager of his estates. When Charles X. went 
into exile to Prague in 1832, Barrande settled there, and 
finding the Germans were neglecting the older (Silurian and 
Cambrian) rocks, and that they were rich in fossils, he set to 
work, and spent all his own private fortune in opening and 
working quarries expressly for thf^ fossils. How many thou- 
sand pounds sterling he expended in twenty-four years I can- 
not say ; but he told me that in order to explain the eighteen 
metamorphoses of a trilobite called Sao hirsutay he collected 
20,000 specimens, and they cost 5,000 francs, or 200i. He has 
at length got 1,500 species, and nearly all of them are peculiar 
to Bohemia, or new. He showed me these in his museum, some 
of which, however, I had seen at Paris, and I went four days 
on an excursion to understand the quarries and position of 
the beds, and some very extraordinary results at which he has 
arrived. He is a very remarkable man, with a good deal of 
simplicity of character, so rare among Frenchmen, and much 
commoner in Germany. Our friend Colonel Gutbier, with 
whom we spent three agreeable days in Saxon Switzerland, 
complained that Humboldt had lost this simplicity by living 
so much in Paris. I found him, however, at eighty-seven, just 
what I knew him more than thirty years ago, quite up to 

1856. CAMBRIAN FAUNA. 225 

all that is going on in many departments. Think of his eyes, 
when in these days of cheap postage, his letters cost him 
lOOZ. a year, and he answers and reads himself nearly all ! 

Ever your affectionate brother, 

Chasles Lyell. 

To Ds. Fleming. 

Vienna : August 31, 1856. 

My dear Dr. Fleming, — I was very glad to receive your 
letter at Prague. I have been much pleased with what I 
have seen of those parts of Saxon Switzerland, as it is com- 
monly called, which I had not explored when there some 
years before. At Prague I made four excursions with 
M. Barrande, who has perhaps done more work than anyone 
in our time in paleontology and the field united. He ex- 
plained to me on the spot his remarkable discovery of a 
* colony ' of Upper Silurian fossils 3,400 feet deep, in the 
midst of the Lower Silurian group. This has made a great 
noise, but I think I can explain away the supposed anomaly 
by adopting Barrande's printed explanation about the re- 
moval of a barrier, and by allowing for ten per cent, of * pe - 
culiar * species in the so-called colony — a point, I believe, 
often overlooked. But I will not go on, lest you should not 
have read about this famous puzzle. What between Sweden 
and Bohemia we have now 120 species of the Cambrian (or 
Primordial) fauna all distinct, and all the genera of the tri- 
lobites save one, from the Silurian. As Barrande names his 
primordial fauna C, it is easy to remember that this stands 
for Cambrian. In all, he has 500 species of Cephalopoda, 
scarce one of them English or Swedish. They show that the 
moUusca in early days were not of simple form, but of high 
degree. About 130 gasteropods, but not one of Lamarck's 
canalicu^ata, so I suppose the carnivorous cephalopods did 
their work, as Dillwyn used to say, long ago. 

The Silurian fauna of the United States agrees consider- 
ably with that of England and Sweden, which may have 
formed one great province becoming gradually different in 
its remote parts, while Bohemia, Spain, and Portugal con- 
stituted a second province, having all the species except a 
few brachiopods distinct. Besides these, there must have 

VOL. 11. Q 

226 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxviir. 

existed contemporaneonslj another proyince, namely, the 
mother-country of the faTons ^ colony.' All the facts stated 
by Barrande respecting the latter are perfectly true, as I am 
now convinced. Murchison has been over the groand, and, 
as Barrande tells me, has printed his adhesion to Barrande's 
view so far as the section is concerned. Fortunately the 
MoldaUy or rather the great natural rent through which this 
river passes, lays open clear and continuous sections display- 
ing most beautifully the succession en ma^se of the rocks 
composing the groups D, E, P, G, including the * colony,* so 
that he who runs may read, provided he has Barrande with 
him to cross-examine. I ne\er saw Silurian fossils in such 
abundance except in a few strata in Sweden ; but here they 
pass through many thousands of feet. Yet the whole fos- 
siliferous area is only equal to one-sixtieth part of the 
Adriatic. As Barrande himself has calculated this, I wonder 
he remains such a finality man. I remember at the Geolo- 
gical Society when Sedgwick and Murchison used to argue 
with me exactly on the grounds now taken up by Barrande 
in proof of a beginning of life on this globe, founded on the 
notion that no fossils would ever be found below the stiper 
stones. Now that a totally distinct fauna has turned up, 
and that the transformations of some are traced from the 
egg to the adult, the discoverer is just as sure that here at 
least we have the true beginning. We expect to be home 
about the end of October. 

Believe me ever truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

i8?6. STYRIA. 227 




To Leonard Hokneb, Esq. 

Middendorf, Styria : September 16, 1866. 

My dear Horner, — We are here in a small inn in the 
Styrian A.lps some 2,500 or more feet above the sea, and 
where they have six months of snow from December to May. 
On our way from Gratz to Ischl, it is a beautiful country, of 
green meadows in the foreground, and cultivated fields on 
steep slopes, with usually a background of limestone moun- 
tains, with perpendicular precipitous sides often of bare rock, 
but with larch and spruce on every available ledge. 

I left off at Vienna with my geological news. Before 
quitting it I contrived to make excursions with different 
geologists to the chief points of interest both in the Miocene 
tertiary basin, where the beds are nearly horizontal, and the 
secondary and Eocene tertiary rocks, where the strata are 
at high angles or vertical, as usual in the Alps, of which 
we have here the eastern extremity, although they are in 
fact continued in the Carpathians, with the same strike and 
character. The commencement of these last mountains 
is well seen from some of the heights near the northern 
suburbs of Vienna, one of which called the Himmel, near 
Sievering, I visited in company with Mr. Cevarowitcb, one of 
the oflBcers of the Government Geological Survey. In that 
hill are splendid quarries of highly inclined Vie ana sand- 

Q 2 

228 5"/^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxix. 

stone, corresponding to much of the AlnD|e Flysch, and 
deserving the name of Azoic as much as certain rocks so 
called in Scandinavia, in which fucoids have been found, 
as they have been in this Viennese sandstone. I could not 
help looking on it with great interest, even from its nega- 
tive characteristic of containing no fossils, whether in the 
Viennese or Swiss Alps. There seems little doubt that part 
of it is of Jurassic and part of Eocene origin, for some few 
nummulites have been lately detected in one region and 
specimens of Aptychus in another, but they must be wonder- 
fully rare, since so many magnificent quarries have been 
opened in it for building and paving stones, and the whole 
Viennese corps, who have proved themselves very sharp- 
sighted collectors, pronounce the formation to be hopelessly 
barren. I wrote to Barrande to commend to him these 
* Azoic ' beds, as he argued with me at Prague that no living 
beings could have inhabited the globe before his * primordial 
fauna,' because some of the sandstones below his primordial 
were precisely like in mineral character to others lying above 
it, and in which fossils have been met with. Edward Forbes 
used to say that no one who has dredged much can ever 
wonder at rocks being wholly devoid of organic remains. 

I was fortunate, just as I was on the wing for Styria, to 
see a young geologist who has been kept always at field work 
in the Alps by their Survey, of the name of Stur, very much 
in earnest, as indeed they all are, but who is by far the 
most ardent generaliser of them all. He knows no langua^^ 
but German, but Studer arrived in time to help me in one of 
my conversations with him. Stur is, I believe, the first who 
has attempted to give a series of diagrams showing the state of 
the Alps from the earliest periods. He makes out eight or nine 
periods of elevation, or of convulsion ratlier, or movement. 

Upon the whole the quantity of work done and doing in 
Austria, and the number of young rising men of education 
and some of them of family, interested in geology, is very 
striking, and as they are all connected with mining establish- 
ments, and therefore professionally occupied, or with Im- 
])tTial Museums, they will continue to pursue the science. 
It is a great pleasure when one stops at a coal-mine, as I 
did at Leoben, a small place between this and Bruck in 

1856. VALLEY OF GOSAU. 229 

the Styrian Alps, to find several {jentlemen of education 
managing the works. It was a tertiary coal, forming a bed 
of coaly lignite actually some forty feet thick, of Miocene 
age, with fossil plants. There are many basin-shaped masses 
of such lignite formations in the Styrian Alps, in some of 
which freshwater shells (a few of them of living species) 
accompanied by Mastodon arigustidens, Anthracotheriuniy &c. 
occur, a good deal disturbed and yet horizontal as compared 
to the distorted, coiled, and overturned older stratified 
masses of this wonderful chain. 

Bou6 made himself very agreeable and useful to me in 
two excursions. He told me that at one time, having a 
fright about French political affairs, and expecting that 
Thiers would make war with England, he sold all his money 
out of the French funds, and having a great opinion of the 
United States, bought into theirs, just when they happened 
to be most depressed at the time of the panic after the * repu- 
diation ' affair. In a few years he found his fortune exactly 
doubled by the rise of the United States state and other 
securities, upon which he sold out and invested in land and 
houses in Austria, to which his wife belonged. Here he felt 
rich for many years, and has still a house in Vienna, and 
a delightful country house near Baden, an hour and a half by 
railway from Vienna, the environs of which city are most 
agreeable and picturesque and geologically varied, as you 
would expect on the fianks of the Alps, or where they join 
the tertiary of the plains. But the increase of prices and 
enormous pressure of taxation has of late made Bou^ feel 
poor, and unable to travel and geologise as he would wish. 

Hallstddt : September 20. — It is raining here, and the snow 
has actually fallen last night on the higher part of the hills 
not more than 4,000 or 5,000 feet above the sea, which rise 
abruptly 2,000 or 3,000 feetf m this beautiful lake which 
is under cur windows, separated from us only by a garden 
full of Dahlias and China asters. We made out our expedi- 
tion to the valley of Gosau very successfully yesterday, and 
saw enough, though the clouds came down too fast, to con- 
vince us that it has not been overpraised by lovers 
scenery. The fossils of the chalk, consisting chiefly of uni- 
valves, might well lead a geologist not familiar with the 

230 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxix. 

Blackdown beda, to imagine that tLe formation was tertiary, 
although the species are different, and the hippurites and 
other cretaceous forms ought soon to rectify the idea. 

I have fortunately obtained here from the Bergmeister 
two specimens of moderate size of the Hallstadt (upper 
triassic) limestone in which an ammonite is associated with 
an orthoceras in the very same fragment. They say that 
Von Buch came here to ascertain the fact, and confessed 
that it overturned a favourite theory of his. I spent an 
agreeable day and a half with Unger, and I gave him a copy 
of Charles Bunburj's paper on the 'Carboniferous Plants of 
Cape Breton,' which he (Unger) was glad to have. In this 
limestone region we have been finding many land shells, 
especially in our excursion to the three beautiful lakes through 
which the Traun runs, or rather from the highest of which 
it rises, so justly praised by Sir Humphrey Davy. 

Ischl: tSepttmber 20, 1856. — We have just arrived here, 
the clouds covering the mountain-tops and leaking a little 
at intervals. We found letters from Berlin to Mary, and 
yours to me. I am glad you saw Ewald, and that he ap- 
proved of my attempt to explain Barrande, who has half, 
but only half, given in. I accused him of a downright ana- 
chronism, which of course he did not quite like ; but it was 
really a solecism, and he ought to thank me if I can help him 
out of it. No doubt Ewald is right in saying that the word 
' colony' is wrong in the exact way in which Barrande uses it. 
But if we consider it as a colony of an antecedent state of the 
fauna of E, the term will do. The first European settlers in 
Virginia were a colony from England, though not of England 
when she had more than doubled her population in the days 
of Queen Victoria. 

With love to all, ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To C. J. F. BuNBUET, Esq. 

Salzburg : September 27, 1856. 

My dear Bunbury, — Tour letter was forwarded to me 
from Innspruck to this picturesque and beautiful town. 
There is so much to see here, and in the snowy Alps imme- 

1856. SALZBURG. 231 

diately to the south of it, both in geology and scenery, that 
I have determined not to go so far as the centre of the 
Tyrol, as it would be too hurried a journey to do any justice 
to it, and the shortening of the days and the snow on moun- 
tains only 6,500 feet high, which fell last week and is very 
slowly melting, has warned me that the best season has gone 
by. Yet we have had to-day a clear blue sky, and a sun 
often too warm to expose ourselves in, without shelter, and the 
tops of the Great and Little Watzmann as steep as the 
Aiguilles of Mont Blanc, 8,000 feet high, have formed a 
grand feature in our landscape in an excursion in the neigh- 
bourhood. I am trying to understand what members of the 

* Alpine Limestone,' as it was formerly called, are Jurassic, 
which Triassic, and which Cretaceous. It is strange to think 
that rocks so devoid of fossils to a cursory observer, should 
have yielded of late, by dint of searching some particular 
spots and beds, such a multitude of species, 1,200 invertebrate 
for the Upper Trias alone. 

The sandstone with ¥ucoide» intricattus, a part of the 

* Vienna sandstone,' seems to be made out pretty clearly to 
be a member of the chalk above the gault. I collected some 
of the fucoids yesterday, which were so fine that I shall send 
you specimens when I return. 

Ever since we have been in the Alps, we have not ceased 
to admire the profusion of autumnal Gentians, consisting of 
three kinds, which we are told are (?. ciliata^ a tnnged sky- 
blue one with a fringe on the corolla, (?. autumnalia (or 
Germanica), a purplish one with many flowers on a stem, and 
O. asclepioidea^ with several rich blue flowers on a long stem. 
The latter abounds most at higher levels than the other two. 
The O. Germanica is often as thick aa some purple orchises 
in boggy ground in England. We observe that on the same 
stem, some flowers have four and seme five divisions of the 
corolla, and a corresponding number of stamens respectively. 
Perhaps this is common in many other common genera. 
They regard Colchicum autumnale as a pest here. It adorns 
the meadows very much, and is as thick as if in a garden 
plot at very various elevations. This town is more than 
1,809 feet high, though commanding a view of the great 
plain of Bavaria, and looking low with the Alps on one side* 


I have been observing the land and freshwater shells 
with some attention. After collecting some thirty species, 
I have never seen that large and conspicuoas English shell. 
Helix aspersa. As it is not fossil in the loess of the Rhine, I 
suppose Woodward may be right in saying ^ that it came in 
with man and the dog.' Helix arbustorum swarms above all ; 
H. nemoralis (or hortensis) not very common. On the whole, 
perhaps six in twenty-five not British. I am glad yon 
alluded to A. De CandoUe's book, which he sent me, and 
which I have always been meaning, and still mean to read. 
Hooker's doubts as to the Pinus pumilis being the Scotch fir 
interested me much, for though the possibility struck me, I 
gave up the idea when I saw how positively it ranks as a 
true species in the books. Its cones seemed to me as large 
as those of a tall Scotch fir, which has the effect of making 
it look peculiar, and more unlike than its mere dwarfishness 
would do. It never gets so low as the (Spruce?) on the 
White Mountains, but I saw the Pemicaria striving to top it, 
as did Lycopodium dendroides presume to do in the case of 
the dwarfed American fir trees. I saw no gradual passage, 
but the change from a region where the snow does not lie so 
long, to one where it endures for a great many months, is 
rather sudden on the Riesengeberge. 

With love to Frances, ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Professoe George Hartunq. 

Munich : October 6, 1856. 

My dear Hartung, — I was very glad to learn by your 
letter which I found here, that we may look forward to the 
pleasure of seeing you in London on your way to Madeira. 
I have made progress, since I saw you, in German, having 
had to talk some whole days with good geologists who 
know no other language, so I hope to make out what you 
write in your own tongue, and can always get the aid of my 
wife when in doubt. I am well pleased that you have found 
in conversing with your friends, how much (and very 
deservedly) the connection of the history of the Madeira and 
Canary volcanos is dependent for one of its greatest interests 
on the various groups of organic remains. 

1856. KONIGSEE. 283 

To give you some idea of the difficulty of bringing all the 
evidence to a focus, I may mention, that when I applied at 
the British Museum to get the corals, Zoantharia of Porto 
Santo, &c., named, they told me there was no one in England 
who could do it, and they had just sent over their own to 
Paris to be named by Milne-Edwards. 

So I have got my old friend the former secretary of the 
Geological Society, Mr. Lonsdale, our best authority, to 
rndertake them, and his report is, I hear, ready. The 
Bryozoa have been examined by a competent English 
geologist, Mr. Busk, as a favour to me. As to the shells, I 
have already worked hard at them, and hope to have a list 
of sixty species from the Great Canary. I spent a day in 
comparing the two species of Cyprsea with Mr. Gascoin's 
shells, who has the finest collection in Europe of CypreadsB, 
unequalled in any public collection. The result was, that they 
are both new species. You remember them perhaps, and that 
I thought they would turn out living species, to which they 
have, until closely compared, a very marked resemblance. 

As to the land shells, I have given much time to 

WoUaston's unrivalled collection, and hope to have some new 

and original results to work into the paper, but then the 

detailed lists of species, recent and fossil, which must be 

compared, constituting the 'pieces justificatives of what is 

said in the body of the paper, must be given separately. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Leonard Hokneb, Esq. 

Stiasburg : October 22, 1856. 

My dear Horner, — I believe that my last geological news 
was written to you from Salzburg, after which we visited a 
most beautiful part of the Alps, immediately south of 
Salzburg, Berchtesgaden and the Konigsee, the latter a 
beautiful lake, surrounded by limestone precipices 4,000 
feet high, and some of which look as if they were horizon- 
tally stratified, but which appearance is found after much 
study to be a delusion. I was greatly perplexed by it, for I 
knew that no single uniform calcareous deposit in the Swabian 
or Jura chain could boast a thickness of 1,000 feet, where 

234 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxix. 

it was clearly to be made out in reference to age and relative 
position, and I was unwilling to believe in the sudden 
development and augmentation of each calcareous formation 
on their entering the chain of the Alps. Fortunately I fell 
in at Berchtesgaden with Mr. Giimbel, who has been employed 
for the last four years with the construction of a geological 
map of Bavaria by the government. He had just given 
several months to the very region which was puzzling me, 
and assured me that he had ascertained that the limestone 
which appeared 4,000 feet thick or more, was only 350 feet 
thick, and was the same member of the lias which I had else- 
where seen under the name of * Dachstein,' so called from a 
snow-covered alp of that name near the valley of Gosau, 
He declares that the splendid cliffs of limestone bounding 
the lake of Konigsee, and seen far beyond, forming the sur- 
face of the snow-covered * Great and Little Watzmann Alps,' 
are a mere facing of stone, cleft by horizontal joints in 
imitation of the bedding. These alps are between 7,000 and 
9,000 feet high. According to this explanation the name of 
Dachstein is not a bad one, for a deposit that covers or roofs 
such lofty mountains. I was surprised, before I fell in with 
Giimbel, at meeting with a species of Orthoceras in a quarry of 
limestone in the Untersberg mountain near Salzburg, which 
the Vienna geologists have set down as Dachstein. It is a 
quarry which has supplied marble for the Bavarian Walhalla. 
For I had thought it marvellous enough that I had seen several, 
of species of that ' paleozoic ' form, in the Hallstadt or upper 
triassic group. But Giimbel assured me that the marble in 
question was even still younger than the Dachstein, being 
what he terms a member of the Oolite called the * Adneter 
Kalk.* I afterwards learnt that very lately a helemnite has 
been detected in the B allstadt beds, so that they are travel- 
ling downwards, while the orthoceras is ascending upwards 
very fast. 

At Munich I called on Prof. Wagner, who very politely 
put off a journey he was just starting on, for a day, in order 
to show me over the collection of the late Count Miinster, 
which they bought for the University of Munich. The speci- 
mens in the Solenhofen lithographic stone are splendid, as I 
daresay you remember. But what attracted me most was a 


newly arrived set of fo58il Miocene mammalia, from a cal- 
careous brec(aa near Athens, already in part described by 
Wagner. Not only Dinotherium, Mastodon angustid^ns^ 
and a new large Macbairodus, bat a large Miocene ape, and 
a great creature of the sloth or megatherium family, called 
Macrotherium. It may perhaps be a great sloth which 
Cuvier determined from a single phalangeal bone in iVance, 
which I always thought a grand tour deforce^ and which some 
called in question. 

Liebig showed us his newly built laboratory, and a friend 
of Giimbel's, Mr. Hessling, took me over a new Physiological 
Government Institution, and a separate one for Anatomy* 
The King seems favourable to science. In the first of the 
two last-mentioned buildings was an aquarium for experi- 
ments on living freshwater animals. For several years the 
I)earl-bearing Unio% {U, margaritifera) have been bred in 
numbers. It takes eight or ten years for a pearl to form. 
There are three kinds of external deformities which clearly 
show whether there are pearls or not inside the shell. By 
knowing these you may, without the labour of opening them, 
cast them back into the water if they are barren, as a 
vast majority are. It is a singular paradox which Liebig 
discussed with me, that the thick-shelled pearl-producing 
Unios live in the lakes of the granite and * Greywacke * 
regions, where there is scarce a trace of lime in the water, 
whereas in those lakes and ponds in the limestone districts 
where there is a very large proportion of carbonate of lime, 
the Anodons with their very thin shells abound. It seems 
to depend on vegetable food. 

At trim I made an excursion to see some freshwater beds 
about the age of the * Mayence basin,' which, everywhere 
almost on the Continent, geologists call * Lower Miocene,* 
and I have seen so many signs of freshwater and land species 
passing Arom strata of this age to the supposed equivalents 
of the Palunian, that I may perhaps have eventually to 
adopt this same classification, and call my ^ Upper Eocene ' a 
* Lower Miocene.* 

For if it is once established that the line cannot be 
drawn anywhere without being somewhat arbitrary, it may 
be better not to let too much be absorbed (as Hamilton 


said) * in ^^® Eocene vortex.' My argnment of the perfect 
distinctness of the French and English and Belgian marine 
shells of mj ^ Upper Eocene ' and those of the Faluns still 
holds; but perhaps Beyrich's investigation, and Sandberger's, 
may eventually make out a passage even there, and Hubert 
thinks he has many links by aid of the Bordeaux basin. 

At Tubingen I found Quenstedt, as I anticipated, a 
hard-working, enthusiastic, and original man. Like Baa> 
rande, he has opened large quarries in the lias and oolite 
exclusively for fossils, and has obtained an unrivalled series 
of ammonites, brachiopods, belemnites, &c., besides some fine 
reptiles and fish. He finds the beds admirably defined by 
their characteristic fossils over an area of thirty or forty 
miles of the Swabian Jura. He showed me the various beds 
in the field, and we collected the commonest species in situ. 
Crryphea arcuata (or incurva) though so abundant only ex- 
tends vertically through eight feet. The number of species 
of ammonites, which he proves to be varieties of one, is very 

Oppel studied for three years as Quenstedt's pupil, 
then travelled in France and England to compare the 
Keuper and Jurassic beds of Swabia with those of England 
and France, and out of this came the joint work of Oppel 
and Suess on the * Koessen ' beds, now proved to be of the 
age of the * bone-bed ' of Wiirtemburg and England. 

Last year Oppel thought the bone-bed near Stuttgardt 
contained liassic marine shells, but they now prove to be all 
distinct. You may remember that for several editions back, 
(if not from the beginning,) I have always put the bone-bed 
in the trias, and not, as other English geologists did, in the 
lias. This opinion is now made out by the marine shells to 
be true. It would have been strange if the fish and reptiles 
had misled us. 

At Ziirich I was glad of an opportunity of discussing 
with Escher v. der Linth and Heer, both fresh from Vienna, 
the great question of the St. Cassian beds, or the discovery 
of the long sought for marine fauna of the upper trias. 
Also the real position of the Flysch ' Vienna sandstone ; ' 
whether, as Schafhautt assured me, it was under the num- 
mulitic and of cretaceous age, or, as Giimbel said, above it, 


and as he almost proved to me by sections near Salzburg 
which I saw, or, as they told me at Vienna, partly Eocene 
and partly Jurassic ! Escber is clearly of opinion that it is 
Eocene — an azoic Middle Eocene — perhaps 2,000 feet thick, 
but some think that all the Glaris fish belong to it. They 
showed me the celebrated skeleton of a bird in the black slate 
of Glaris. The rock may well pass, as it did once, for a 
* transition schist.' 

Bunbury will be interested to hear that Heer, who was 
with Escher in Italy after the Vienna meeting, found all the 
Monte Bolca plants withont exception to be different from 
his * Lower Miocene ' (my Upper Eocene) flora. Heer showed 
me his plants of Swiss Miocene and Pliocene localities. 
The number of American forms is what he most dwells on. 
How abundant the plane trees must have been, and yet there 
is no indigenous European Platanus. But the insects of 
(Eninghen struck me most. The colours of a cimex so well 
preserved, and of several species of Buprestisy and so many 
Brazilian forms as he makes out, especially a large hydro- 
philus, of which he had at first only the elytra, and yet he 
ventured to say it wa? a Brazilian form of the Hydrophil% 
and now the discovery of a perfect individual has proved it. 
But this was not guessing. They have a magnificent collec- 
tion of living species of insects at Zurich, which it took Heer 
seven years to arrange. Of beetles alone, or Coleoptera, 
there are no less than 30,000 species ! 

The fruits and even flowers of some of the plants of 
(Eninghen are wonderfully preserved. 

A coprophagous beetle, * AphodiiLSy in the Swiss lias, fore- 
tells the future finding of a liassic mammifer. 

At Paris I learnt from a letter of Wyman, that he has 
at last an Ophidian from the old coal of Ohio — a great step — 
besides new batrachian bones. I also found Hubert hard at 
work. No less than five individuals of the large ostrich- 
sized Gastornis from the conglomerate under the Plastic- 
clay are now found, and with them a large lophiodon and 
crocodiles and a coryphodon. 

Since 1 wrote what I said above about the controverted 
point where to draw the line between Eocene and Miocene, 
I have called on Deshayes, and he was reading the French 

238 S/R CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxiX. 

translation of my manual. He said he entirely agreed with 
me as to classification, hoped I should never give up, and 
would show me a multitude of new proofs which he had re- 
cently obtained by work in the field in the Paris Basin in 
support of my old plan (and his) of considering the * Gr^sde 
Tontainebleau ' as Upper Eocene, and as quite distinct from 
the Falunian type — an opinion which Edward Forbes thought 
demonstrated by his latest discoveries in the Isle of Wight. 

Believe me, my dear Horner, ever most affectionately 
yours, Charles Ltell. 

Paris: October 26. 

To Charles Bunburt, Esq. 

53 Harlej Street, London : Janoarj 13, 1S67. 

My dear Bunbury, — Mr. Beckles called on me about a 
month ago, to show me the bones of the huge Iguanodon's 
foot (tridactyle, like a bird!) which he had found. I showed 
him Siereognatlius ooliticuSy then in my charge, and urged 
him to go and open a quarry at Swanage in the dirt-bed, 
and go after higher game. 

He took me at my word, and soon wrote to say that the 
first day produced two reptiles, and the second a jaw (query 
if mammalian) which he sent me by post. 

It was a new genus of insectivorous mammal ! Mr, 
Bristow, of the Survey, then told me that Brodie at Swanage 
had been collecting for two years without sending to Owen. 
I wrote and begged for a sight of the new Mammalia^ said to 
be found by him in the Purbecks. Up came a box from 
Brodie, and with three new species (of two new genera) of 
mammals, one as big as a hedgehog, and with the shull 
which Dr. Falconer interpreted to me. Then came box after 
box from Beckles, every day a new form of reptile or mammal, 
till I have got up to indications of twelve species of mam- 
malia (including the original Spalseotherium) and nine 
genera ! ! The biggest is one- third bigger than a hedgehog. 
The last was made out by Falconer to have the dentition of 
the kangaroo rat, or of that family, with the back molars 
like Microlestes of the Trias ! I have shown all to Owen, 
and he confirms Falconer's determinations. I am figur- 
ing this Hypsiprymnodon microlestoides — a pure vegetable 


feeder ! All these twelve are got from an area not larger 
than my drawing-room, and from a bed only three inches 

I have casts and beautiful drawings made at my expense 
when last at Stuttgardt of the Microlestes, and am much 
pleased at knowing what that oldest of yet found mammals 

So the * Noch-nicht-gefunden-seyn ' (a capital specimen 
of a German substantive) of the Aagiospermous plants in 
rocks older than the chalk, offer no reason to anticipate the 
rarity of warm-blooded quadrupeds. I asked Hooker whether 
he did not infer a rich mammalian fauna from the genera 
being almost as numerous as the species ; he said judging 
from plants, a jpoor one ! for in tropical islands the genera 
are very numerous proportionally, and the flora poor, but he 
added, they afforded no argument as to contemporary conti- 
nents. But then, surely the number of species being almost 
as great as that of the individuals, argues a rich fauna. 

Falconer reckons on large beasts as we go on. I am 
very glad of the cranium, a well-developed one, some evi- 
dence higher than lower jaws. Had these mammals turned 
up just above the Wealden, they would not have been so 
useful in warning men not to speculate on negative evidence 
in regard to no land creatures being found in aqueous 

With my love to Prances, ever affectionately yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To Leonard Hobnek, Esq. 

Bienne, or Biel : August 7, 1867. 

My dear Horner, — You will have learnt from Mary's 
letters that we have been having a prosperous journey 
through Belgium and the old Eheinthal to this delightful 
country, which every time that I revisit it always seems 
more full of charms and wonders than at first. My visit at 
Li^ge was very useful, as besides talking over with Kon- 
inck the present state of Belgian geology, I got a fuU day 
in the Devonian rocks with poor Dumont's locum teiiens 
(and I hope his future successor), young De Walque, who 
has published a good paper on the lias of Luxembourg. At 

240 SIR CHARLES LYELU chap, xxnc 

Aix-la-Chapelle I found Dr. Debej most ready to show me 
his splendid and unique collection of cretaceona fossil plants. 
I went with him to the hills in the neighbourhood to satisfy 
myself of the real position of the beds in which this new and 
peculiar flora has been detected, and the first hour convinced 
me of the principal fact, namely, that the sands and clays 
in which this yegetation is preserved are decidedly inferior 
to the white chalk with flints, which with the chalk without 
flints, and chalk marl, are of moderate thickness and rest 
upon a cretaceous greensand like some of our upper green- 
sand, and immediately beneath this are the plant-beds. I 
found belemnites and numbers of our common chalk fossils. 
On the second day I made an excursion in a new direction in 
company with a younger geologist, Ignaz Beissel, son of a 
late merchant of Aix, who has entirely devoted himself to the 
marine beds above the Aachenian. I also paid two visits to 
a schoolmaster of the name of Joseph Miiller, whose collec- 
tion of the cretaceous beds of the neighbourhood is large, 
and who has published on them. 

Dr. Debey thinks he has a hundred species of the Austra- 
lian family, the Proteacea — of course I cannot judge whether 
he exaggerates the number, but certainly he allows many 
forms to belong to one and the same species. As Robert 
Brown, when I last talked with him about these plants 
being referred to BanJcsia, Protea^ Grevillea, Dryandra^ &c., 
suggested some difficulties and doubts, I was glad to find 
that Debey had been at Paris, and had shown Adolphe 
Brongniart some of his specimens, and he had agreed with 
Debey and remarked that the Dryandra was undistinguish- 
able so far as the leaves go. But Debey has some fruits also, 
and he showed me the epidermis of some of the leaves so 
well preserved in the fine clay, that the cellular structure 
and the stomata can be seen under the microscope quite as 
clearly as in a living plant, and these stomata in the Pro- 
teacea are differently arranged from those in other families. 

He has about fifteen species of Conifene; one of these 
agrees very closely in its leaves and the form and shape of 
the cones with Welling tonia. 

The ferns are most beautiful, some forty in number, many 
in fructification, and the spores bearing microscopic examina- 

i857. FOSSIL FLORA. 241 

tion. But the numerous forms of ordinary dicotyledonous 
leaves are doubtless what will most astonish botanists, who 
thought that such plants made their first appearance on the 
earth in the tertiary period. Ettingshausen of Vienna is to 
publish jointly with Debey an account of the flora. It will 
be as remarkable a lifting up of the curtain which concealed 
from us the botany of the Chalk period, as the Purbeck dis- 
coveries are in reference to the land animals of the Upper 
Oolitic era. After I had come to a very strong opinion that 
these Aix beds and their plants were at least above the 
Gault, and below the White Chalk, I was told at Bonn that 
Ferdinand Boemer has lately published a paper expressing 
the same opinion, which I am glad to hear. I was much 
confirmed by seeing at Bosquet's, when I went over to spend 
a day with him at Maestricht, four genera of land plants 
found in the Maestricht chalk (two of them dicotyledonous 
angiosperms) common to the Aix beds. 

It seems that the mineral character of the European 
cretaceous deposits changes rapidly after one crosses the 
zone of paleozoic rocks which run through Belgium and the 
adjoining parts of France and Germany, and the plants 
found by Debey grew, I presume, on some of the land formed 
by the dividing ridge of paleozoic rock (Carboniferous and 
Devonian) which parted the two cretaceous seas. 

I picked up a few in the quarries. Among the monocoty- 
ledonous plants there are no palms, which I wondered at 
considering that they play a part even in the Miocene flora. 
I found much silicified coniferous wood in the sands. Arau- 
caria has been made out by leaves and fruit. Some thin 
layers of regular coal occur here and there. 

At Bonn I found Dr. Otto Weber, who has published on 
the Brown Coal Plants of the Siegberg district — a fine 
Miocene flora older than the faluns. Here again I was 
shown fossils of the genus Protea^ and of Banksia^ DryandrUy 
and Hdkea^ all of that Australian family which seems to 
have predominated in the Cretaceous, to have flourished 
largely in the Eocene, and to have figured still, though less 
largely, in the Lower Miocene. But I have since learnt from 
Heer that this family of Australia continued to exist in 
Europe in the Upper Miocene, and Gkiudin of Lausanne has 

VOL. Il« fi 

242 S/Ji CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxix. 

even found one species allied to Dryandra in the Older 
Pliocene near Florence. As I had become interested in these 
plants I was glad to take a good look at them to refresh my 
memory in the garden at Popplesdorf, which were taken out 
of the conservatory. The gardener gathered leaves and 
flowers of Protea for me, and leaves of Hdkea^ Banksia^ and 
others. You remember the large fossil frogs from the 
Brown Coal ; they were contemporaneous with these plants, 
which lived when a great many American forms, Liquidanibar^ 
SmilaXy Taxodiuniy Comptoniay Ac, were abundant in Europe, 
and when the eruptions which formed the older volcanic 
rocks of the Siebengebirge took place. Von Decken went 
an excursion with me to Kessenich, where we saw the 
Devonian beds and the gravel of the higher platform, and 
where I told him how much light your Egyptian researches 
had thrown on the origin of the loess, which, as my views 
were rather different from those which Von Decken had pro- 
posed, led to some amicable discussions. He is a most 
agreeable companion and full of information, and I think 
very sound in his theoretical views. 

The quantity of work which Hermann Von Meyer had been 
doing at Frankfort since I had seen him some twenty months 
before, surprised me as much as ever. He has a fair 
quantity of daily official business, after which he devotes his 
time most systematically to paleontology. He is his own 
artist, and a first-rate one. The economy of time and temper 
arising from his being able at once to draw what a scientific 
eye can alone see correctly, must be great, and will alone ex- 
plain the prodigious amount of good work he is able to get 
through. When it is announced that he is going to write a 
monograph, every collector in Germany and many provincials 
in France send him their specimens. It is very rare that 
any are detained more than three weeks. 

Thus in three years specimens belonging to 271 indi- 
viduals of the Carboniferous reptile Archegosaurus were sent 
to Frankfort, and drawings made of all. It has produced a 
splendid monograph of the genus, comprising two species 
already in part published in the * Paleontographica.' 

Another on the Pterodactyles of Solenhofen has also 
been brought out by Von Meyer since I was last with him. 

i857. ELIE DE BEAUMONT. 243 

Yet he has now scarcely a fossil reptile in his house, after 
having described eighty species from the three members of 
the trias, and figured all. I found his table covered with 
some twenty new species of an Oolitic Crustacean of his 
new genus Prosopouy sent to him from various quarters. He 
draws on transparent paper, so that the lithographer turns 
it and sees it through, and therefore has not to reverse it. 
This greatly increases the accuracy of the copy. 

Our windows here (Lausanne) overlook Gibbon's garden, 
in part of which the hotel is built. The view of the Lake 
of Geneva and the Alps very beautiful, and the weather not 
too hot. Mary is quite well. 

Believe me ever yours affectionately, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Leonabd Hobneb, Esq. 

Lausanne : August 10, 1857. 

My dear Horner,- I am glad you have been thinking of 
the future as well as of the present of the Geological 
Society. . • . 

.... My taking the ofSce a third time is out of the 
question. I have done a fair share of that duty, and hope 
to continue for years travelling, making original observations, 
and above all going to schriol to the younger, but not, for all 
that, young geologists whom I meet everywhere, so far 
ahead of us old stagers, that they are familiar with branches 
of the science fast rising into importance which were not 
thought of when I began. Such is the case with young 
Gaudin here, a fossil botanist who in age might almost be 
my grandson. 

When a vacancy occurred in the Institute by Buckland's 
death, Elie De Beaumont sent me word that there was a 
party for me, but that he should use all his influence in 
another direction. I presume that his motives fortius extra- 
ordinary message were various. He had lately received 
hospitality at my house in London, and had been as usual on 
most courteous terms ; in Paris always ready to furnish me 
with unpublished Government maps of France, &c., and he 
may have wished to act openly and frankly ; also to let me 

B 2 

244 Srj^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxix. 

know in return for my enmity to his opinions (or as they 
always say in Paris) to himself, ^me« ermemis* &c., meaning 
* my theoretical opponents,' that he had the will and power 
to thwart me in what he really imagines is the great object 
of everyone's ambition. His message did not open my eyes 
to his course in the election, for I knew that before, but was a 
gratifying testimony to the existence of a party in my favour. 

It would be the height of the inconsistency of human 
wishes or expectations, to receive the compliments paid me 
by the younger geologists since I left town, and at the same 
time to expect the opposite, older, and more influential men 
of science to confer honours on the leader in a new school, 
and as they think heresy. 

Prof. Bunsen at Heidelberg avowed at the dinner he 
gave us that all his taste for geology had been derived 
from my writings. Here is a man whom many in Germany 
rank above Liebig. He is aware how I am opposed to many 
prevailing opinions. Marcou, in writing to me about my 
' Supplement,' tells me he is gradually coming round to all my 
opinions, even my theory of climate. Morlot at Lausanne 
writes to say that he has been giving lectures in that town, 
using my ' Principles ' as his textbook, ' for he is one of my 
school.' Cotta, my translator, writes in the same strain, all 
regarding me as> the head of an opposition party, opposed to 
those who still on the Continent, and especially in France, 
have the power in their hands. 

In one of my last conversations with De Beaumont he 
used the word etranger in reference to some eminent French 
geologist — I forget whom. I exclaimed that I always 
thought he was a Frenchman. He explained that he merely 
meant not a member of the Academy. I was so much 
diverted and surprised at this classification of all scientific 
men into those who did, and those who did not belong to his 
Academy, that I betrayed my amusement. He went on to 
assure me that it was the way in France to speak of those 
who were not in the Institute as foreigners, Strangers (out- 
side barbarians). He imagines that to get into it is the 
great object of every man's ambition. 

Believe me ever very affectionately yours, 

CHJLRiiES Ltell, 


To Leonabd Horneb, Esq. 

Zarich : August 15, 1857. 

My dear Horner, — We have returned to our beautiful 
room here, or to one which has the same views of the Lake 
and the Alps, having made a most successful tour through no 
small part of Switzerland, by Soleure, Neuchatel, Lausanne, 
Vevay, Freiburg, Berne, and Aarau. But I must try and 
resume my sketch of my geological proceedings. I said some- 
thing of the day which Hermann v. Meyer, with his usual 
liberality, gave up to me. He lives very isolated at Frankfort, 
though in communication with all Germany and part of the 
French provinces, and when anyone calls who appreciates 
his labours, it must do him good. 

Wishing to make an excursion, I got Professor Kaup of 
Darmstadt to introduce me to a Major Becker, of the Darm- 
stadt Engineers, a geologist, who drove with me into the 
Odenwald, and showed me Bothliegendes, various trap rocks, 
and some tertiary limestone of the Mayence basin (Lower 
Miocene). I was not a little surprised, just when taking 
leave, to find that my companion was a brother of Becker, the 
Prince's secretary. 

At Heidelberg I had some good talk with Professor 
Bunsen on the theory of glaciers ; Tyndal versus James 
Forbes, &c. ; and Professor Blom showed me many fossils 
illustrative of the triassic rocks of the neighbourhood and the 
Odenwald, and also of the Permian. They have made out 
the age of their sandstone, Bunter, &c., better than I had 
imagined. The Bothliegendes is certainly very angular in 
its pebbles in that region, though not so much so as you 
found at Eisenach. 

Professor P. Marian at Basle invited us to his country 
villa, and told me who was, and who was not at home. £ 
missed Fridolin Sandbergerat Sachingen on the Rhine, which 
he had just left, but was lucky enough to find Heer at 
Ziirich, disposed to devote as much time as I could give to 
show me his collection and talk over Swiss and German 
tertiary geology. He had lately returned from Italy, or at 
least had been there since I was here last year, and had 
seen De Zigno's oolitic plants at Padua. Charles Bunbury 

246 . SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxix. 

will be curious to know that after great accession from all 
countries this flora remains exclusively confined to Crypto- 
gams, Cycads, Conifers, and without any dicotyledonous 

I perceive that Heer is trying to frame a progressive 
theory for plants, though he is a good deal put out by finding 
a Paleoxyris in the Coal, one of the Bromeliaceae. In fact the 
monocotyledons do not seem as yet to keep their place in 
the chronological system as they should do if they knew 
their real rank in the order of development. Some of them 
appear before their time. It is, however, striking to observe 
that the tendency of geological facts (or opinions) carries a 
man who is working in a new field, and an independent 
thinker, into the speculation that nature began with cellular, 
and went on to vascular cryptogams, from lichens and sea- 
weeds to ferns, and slowly got up to Coniferae and Cycads, 
then to different divisions of dicotyledonous, apetalous, 
polypetalous, and gamopetalous in the order of their perfec- 
tion. Although Heer is too well aware of the exceptions to 
his rules, and even of the impossibility of classing the dicoty- 
ledons correctly according to relation, dignity, or perfection, 
yet the attempt shows how seductive such a generalisation is. 
So long as it is admitted that man came last, and the idea 
of progress is cherished as the only way of uniting that 
fact with paleontological data, I suppose these views will 
find favour. It seems the only prospect of a complete 
system, of uniting all into one grand whole, the supposed 
absence of fish in the oldest rocks, with the coming in of the 
Mammalia last of all, and with a parallel series of progres- 
sive steps from the algse to the lilies and the roses. But it 
might be better if we were rather less ambitions. This 
eager desire to solve the whole problem may mislead zoologi- 
cally, botanically, and geologically. I suppose most men 
prefer a doubtful system which enables them to group 
together a great many facts, than to have none. I spent 
three days in Heer's collection. He is continually finding 
fruits which bear out the generic determinations previously 
obtained from leaves alone. The fruit of Cinnamomea 
camphora among others, the leaf of which was so well known, 
also certain maples common to the lower and upper molasse, 

1 857. FOSSIL BOTANY, 247 

as are a great many plants, helping to link together what I 
now call Lower with Upper Miocene, and justifying my substi- 
tuting the former term for Upper Eocene in reference to the 
Mayence basin, Hampstead, Isle of Wight, &c. What is 
singular is this, that Heer finds all the insects and plants, 
1,000 species of the former and 700 of the latter, from the 
freshwater molasse, to belong to extinct species, whereas the 
marine beds which separate the Lower from the Upper 
molasse contain shells like those of Touraine or the faluns of 
the Loire, of which a third are recent. Possibly some of the 
plants may be identical with the living, though Heer has 
apparently good grounds for distinguishing them, often by 
the fruit, as distinct. But the more one examines his speci- 
mens and hears his reasons, the more faith one has in him 
and in fossil botany. I now have little doubt that the whole 
of the (Eninghen beds are Upper Miocene. 

Heer convinced me that the Madeira plant sent to him 
from S. Jorge was the Oreodaphne fostumy and if Charles 
Bunbury found Lauras Canariensis among mine, it must be 
because both are there, which is not improbable. The glacial 
phenomena appear to me more than ever wonderful. There 
is much lecturing here in small places, very like the United 
States. I met with a M. ZoUikofer, who ha«s done good 
original work in the Italian glaciers, starting to lecture to the 
watchmakers of Chaud de Fonds and ten other places. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 





To Leonabd Ltell [six years old). 

63 Harley Street, London : April 13, 1867. 

My dearest Leonard, — Mrs. Nisbet* brought me the 
Actinia on Saturday evening, and the next morning Aunt 
Joanna took it to the Zoological Gardens, where I have since 
seen it, looking quite well, and likely to live till you come 

There are a good many of the same species {Actinia 
Mesemhryanthemum is the name of it) in the Fish House, and 
almost every one of them differs a little from the other, and 
I could only see one which resembled yours in colour, and 
that one was not exactly the same. It is what naturalists 
call a variable species. 

I am not sure that zoologists understand the meaning of 
that beautiful row of blue tubercles which surround the base 
of the feelers or tentacula?. Some individuals seem not to 
have them. 

If I can manage to run down with Aunt Mary to Brighton 
some day before you return to town, we will see what we can 
find on the beach when the tide goes down. 

With my love to Frank and Arthur, believe me your 

affectionate uncle, 

Charles Ltell. 
Give Rosamond a kiss for me. 

' The faithful housekeeper, who was forty-three years in his service. 


To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

ZOrich, St. Gallen : Augnst 16, 1857. 

My dear Homer, — From Zurich we went partly by rai. 
and in part by voiturier to Solenre, where I went to see the 
quarries of ^ Portlandian ' white limestone, almost a marble, 
in one bed of which all the turtles (of several genera) have 
been found — all it is said with the carapace upwards and the 
plastron down, a position in which they might be expected 
to settle. The most striking phenomenon in these large 
quarries at Soleure was an extensive shelf of the limestone, 
from which a covering of about eighfc feet of solid unstratified 
mud, full of angular and subangular boulders, had just been 
removed. These boulders, with now and then a block large 
enough to be called an erratic among them, were many of 
them striated, polished, and scratched on one or on all sides. 
But the ledge of limestone below was smoothed in the most 
beautiful style, as well as traversed with parallel furrows. 
The sections of innumerable large Nerinwa on the surface of 
the polished ledge made a beautiful show. There is no rock 
which receives and retains glacial markings so readily and 
faithfully as a compact limestone, provided it be covered with 
mud by the glacier, for it loses all its striee by a few months' 
exposure in the open air. It is singular to observe what a 
heavy and solid thing this fine mud, called * glacier mud,' is. 
Perhaps it has often been pressed under a great weight of 
ice. They have discovered lately in the railway excavations 
that they can advantageously blast them with gunpowder. 
The erratics here are part of the supposed doings of Char- 
pentier's great glacier, which walked across the great valley 
of Switzerland from Monts Blanc and Bosa to the Jura, with 
a thickness of ice of some 4,000 feet, then abutting against 
the limestone chain, and rising nearly to its culminating 
ridge spread itself on each side, after leaving Pierre a bot 
(the toad stone) above Neuchatel, and some still more enor- 
mous angular masses on the cretaceous and oolitic rocks of 
the Secondary Chain, 

In order to escape from the necessity of appealing to such 
a gigantic mound of ice, I ventured, you may remember, to 

250 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx. 

suggest that the sea may have floated the Alpine erratics to 
the Jura, as Darwin has shown that the ocean now carries 
on ice rafts the rocks of the Andes to Chiloe, arranging them 
there with no small regularity. But the entire absence of 
marine remains in the associated gravel, mud, and moraine, 
whether here or anywhere in Switzerland, the conformity of 
the distribution of the travelled blocks here with the shape of 
80 many valleys, and above all, the sight of the Alpine snows 
at Berne and elsewhere, has made me strongly incline, with 
Charpentier, Agassiz, and others, to embrace (as James Forbes 
did) the theory of a terrestrial glacier. With Desor at Neu- 
chatel, I revisited Pierre a bot, and saw the zone of blocks of 
the Monte Rosa talcose granites and gneiss at one level on 
the Jura, and the Protogine blocks of Mont Blanc at another. 
Afterwards Morlot accompanied me from Lausanne to a spot 
in the middle of the great valley between the Lakes of Neu- 
chatel and Geneva, where the glacial appearances are splen- 
didly displayed ; and lastly, when I had got out of the 
domain of the colossal glacier of the Rhone (or the Yallais), 
and at Berne was in the region of the supposed ancient 
glacier of the Aar, I had a grand day with Escher von der 
Linth, and went over all the arguments for and against the 
land- and the sea-ice theory, examining the old moraines 
around Berne, and ' the gravels ' (as Blackadder used to call 
them on Strathmore) or the stratified old alluvium consisting 
of rearranged (or remanie) boulder stuff, which have been 
thrown down by rivers since the retreat of the ice. At Berne 
Escher pointed out to me that on the right side of the moraine 
of the Aar, you have fragments of the rocks which, far 
above the Lakes of Thun and Brientz, belong to the right side 
of the valley of the Aar, and on the left side those derived 
from very different formations occurring on the left side. It is 
evident therefore that the two lakes were then full of ice. An- 
other interesting point is this. It is clear that a greater glacier 
like that of the Rhone coming down the Vallais — filling the 
Lake of Geneva — rising as they assume 3,000 or more feet 
above its level, and crossing to the Jura, must have blocked 
up the mouths of the minor or lateral valleys. Places were 
also pointed out to me, one of them near Vevay, where the 
old colossal masses of ice of the Rhone-glacier blocked up 


tributaries which in summer brought down pebbles at points 
far above the level of the Lake of Geneva, 1,000 feet or more. 
At these points of junction a mixture of stratified alluvium 
proper to the said tributary torrent, and of unstratified mud 
and blocks from the Vallais, are observed in spots on which 
it seems most unnatural for any such accumulations to have 
taken place, unless one admits Charpentier's theory or some 
modification of it. Now, just such old moraines of mixed 
character, called here ' diluvium glaciare,' are observable in 
Forfarshire at the openings of lateral valleys into the larger 
one of Clova, or Water Esk, only explicable by imagining the 
deeper glen to have been once filled with ice. Indeed, if the 
hypothesis now generally adopted here to account for the 
drift and erratics of Switzerland, the Jura, and the Alps be 
not all a dream, we must apply the same to Scotland, or to 
the parts of it I know best. All that I said in May 1841 
on the old glaciers of Forfarshire (see ' Proceedings of the 
Geological Society ' for that year) I must reafiGirm, and the 
glacier of the Bhone is comparable to our principal one of the 
Tay, which came down by Dunkeld and by Coupar to the south 
of Blairgowrie, and then through the lowest part of Strath- 
more, characterised occasionally by masses of actinolite 
schist which could only have come down from the valley of 
the Tay. This glacier went across the strath, and in a 
straight line by Forfar to Lunan bay, where it reached the 
sea, being traceable by its djS>ri» for a distance of thirty-four 
miles, and therefore by no means unworthy of comparison 
with some of the old Alpine ice rivers. And we have also in 
Angus our ' Pierres a bot,' as I stated in my paper on the 
Sid law range, which is our Jura. The block of mica schist 
which I measured on the hill of Turin, a hill 800 feet high, 
resting on the Old Red Sandstone within forty feet of the 
summit of the ridge, was thirteen feet long, and must have 
come from the Grampians, probably very far from the north- 
west. It is a fine monument of the transporting power of 
ice, as displayed in Scotland, but Pierre a bot is really more 
wonderful when seen again, than when I first beheld it, so 
vast and angular, so clearly resting on a limestone chain, 
with the great tertiary valley between it and the Alps. There 
can in the first place be no doubt that ice was the carrying 

252 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx. 

power, and the distance travelled by sneh blocks and others 
is the same whether our hypothesis employs floating ice or a 
land glacier. Escher has pointed out to me that in several 
cases where the valleys bend at sharp angles, as in the case 
of the Bhine above the Lake of Constance, the floating ice is 
out of the question. He has established this by the aid of 
a very peculiar rock called the granite of Pontelyas, near 
Trons. Fortunately this granite is exceedingly unlike any 
other in Switzerland or the Alps, large regular crystals of 
common felspar in a base of green felspar, with another dark 
mineral (I forget the name) dispersed like mica. As frag- 
ments are traced from its starting point we have positive 
proof of its origin. I told Studer, Escher, and Morlot that I 
was disposed to embrace fully the land transport theory, but 
I thought they took too little account of the probability of 
considerable and unequal upheavals. When we consider 
that in Scotland, on the Clyde side, we have post-glacial 
upheaval to the amount of between 200 and 300 feet, and 
1,500 feet in Wales (Moel Try fane), and 700 or more in 
Canada at Montreal, how much more may we presume that 
in and near the Alps (which I take to be the greatest centre 
of movement in the later geological periods of all Europe), 
there will have been vast and unequal changes of level after 
the dispersion of the Alpine blocks in all directions, north- 
ward, southward, &c. ! 

I am happy to find that Escher, who knows the geology 
of the Alps more minutely than anyone, has quite realised 
the idea of the probability of its great foldings having been 
efiected very slowly, and that the lateral pressure exhibited 
on both sides may have been brought about at the same slow 
rate at which the central nucleus crystallised, and in the act 
of crystallising expanded. Even the Eocene strata turned 
slowly by metamorphic action into granite and gneiss in some 

I ought before this to have told you that after diligent 
search the geologists have been unable in any part of 
Switzerland to find a single marine shell in any moraine, 
or any part of the boulder clay. In this respect the glacial 
formation is precisely what I know it to be in Forfarshire ; 
and as our Scotch gravels, with the exception of a few 


patches near the soa, and not many feet above its level, are also 
without such remains, so here the stratified gravels formed 
since the glaciers retreated, and often 200 feet thick or 
more, are without them. This to be sure is mere negative 
evidence, but lately Morlot has detected some wood very 
well preserved in an old moraine (700 feet thick) opposite 
Lausanne on the Lake of Geneva, and at Lausanne itself in a 
similar position the bones of the marmot, the living species 
[Aretomys) in unstratified boulder mud, full of striated and 
polished pebbles. 

In regard to my belief in the greater height of the Alps 
and other modem changes of level, I cannot say more than 
that this important mode of facilitating the explanation of 
the phenomena has been far too much neglected. My idea 
is that all the mountain chains, lakes, and valleys have re- 
mained as before, and I quite agree that none of those 
astonishing lateral-pressure folds can be of post-glacial date. 
But when all northern Europe was colder, an addition of 
2,000 or 3,000 feet to the altitude of the greatest chain 
would have had a prodigious effect in the local augmenta- 
tion of cold and ice, and if the same causes which at several 
distinct and successive geological epochs, have produced 
more movement in the Alps than almost anywhere else, did 
also in the glacial and post-glacial period contribute to 
intensify the Alpine as contrasted with the Jurassic oscilla- 
tions of level, the slope down which the streams of ice crept 
along may easily have been greater than now. A genera- 
tion must die off before geologists will know how to make 
use of an ample allowance of time. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Leonard Horner, Esq. 

Altorf : August 29, 1867. 

My dear Homer, — My last letter on the geolofify of my 
toui related chiefly to glacial phenomena, and before I get 
among the glaciers themselves, which we are fast approach- 
ing, I must try and make up an arrear of some ten days or 

254 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xx3C 

more during which I have seen much of the tertiary, and 
something of the secondary rocks of Switzerland, and a good 
deal of their geologists. Mary will have told you of my 
having attended the meeting of the Swiss naturalists. I 
was tempted to do so by hearing that their doings only 
lasted three days, and that it was very easy to see and con- 
verse, instead of listening to long and often dull memoirs. 
There is also much brotherhood among these Swiss. They 
give me very much the idea of men who meet together for 
mutual instruction, and as real lovers of natural history 
and science. I saw most of Heer and Escher, Mousson also 
of Ziirich ; Merian of Basle, Langen of Soleure, Gaudin of 
Lausanne, De la Harpe of do., all men whom I had seen in 
my tour, were present ; also Ziegler and Desor. Trogen in 
Appenzell, where they met, is near the boundaries of the 
tertiary (molasse) and Alpine region. 

When you see Falconer, pray tell him that I visited all 
the localities in which the Ziirich proboscidians named by 
him in their museum had been found. The Mastodon 
angustidens of Winterthur has proved a splendid fossil. 
The story has gone through all Switzerland how Falconer 
threw up his cap to the ceiling when he saw it. According 
to his suggestion it was sent to Kaup, and it turned out, as 
Falconer thought, a nearly entire specimen ; upper and lower 
jaws, in one of the latter the second tooth seen below the 
milk tooth. Also the incisor. Moreover a young Mastodon 
of the same species. It is from the Upper molasse. I 
visited the quarry, 

I also went to Diimten, and saw the beds from which 
Elephas aniiquus was extracted, and Falconer will be glad to 
learn that I obtained a tooth, which though not perfect, I 
feel almost certain is Rhinoceros leptorhinus. The shells 
Valvata and Cyclas of living species. The plants also (Heer 
was with me), Pinus abies^ P. sylvestrisy Betula alba^ Phra^- 
mites vulgaris^ and a few more. No Cyrena as yet. The dip 
of the beds Escher suggests may be due to subsidence when 
the valleys were cut through the Pliocene, and when the 
water was withdrawn from this peat-like deposit. He says 
the molasse is quite horizontal below. At first I hoped I 
liad got a decided case of post-pliocene upheaval or change 

i8s7. Siy/SS GLACIERS. 255 

of position in Switzerland, to favour my post-glacial oscilla- 
tions mentioned in mj last. But I fear that the subjacent 
undisturbed molasse precludes this inference. 

By the way, talking of Escher and upheaval, I was not 
a little pleased to find how thoroughly he goes with me in 
doing things slowly. No one in Europe is so well acquainted 
with the stupendous folds and inversions of strata in the 
Alps, and yet he believes it all took place without any inter- 
ruption of the habitable state of these mountains. Had man 
been there, he thinks he would not have known what was 
going on. 

I end this at Visp, where the walls of most of the houses 
are rent with the earthquake which shook them two years 
ago. Perhaps after all there is something still in progress. 
The shocks were felt for 300 miles by 200. 

Tours very affectionately, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Leonard Hobneb, Esq. 

Domo d*088ola: September 10, 1857. 

My dear Homer, — We received your letter of September 
5th at Visp, and shall leave Mary to answer it, and continue 
my sketch of the geology of the country we have lately 
visited, where among other things I have seen the glaciers of 
the Rhone, of Zermatt, and two smaller ones adjoining it, 
those of Zmutt and Pindeln, besides that of Viesch which 
Escher recommended me to see, and which comes down 
from the Bernese Alps towards the Vallais, whereas the 
Zermatt group descends from the region of Monte Rosa. I 
think I have learnt a good deal, for I have been surprised at 
finding the signs of glacial action diminish so rapidly in 
proportion as I got nearer and nearer to the glaciers, until 
it became least evident when I stood on and touched the 
glaciers themselves. Ton will remember that when I was 
at Soleure, 150 miles from the source of the supposed ancient 
Rhone-glacier, T was struck with the quantity of polishing 
and grooving and scratching of the limestone rocks, and of 
the pebbles in the old moraine or unstratified mud. The 


erratics also on the Jura there, as well as near Neuchatel, 
and the moraines of gigantic size 803 feet deep at Lausanne 
or opposite it on the south side of the Lake of Geneva, 
struck me much, and near Trogen and Winterthur and 
round Zurich, it is wonderfnl how abundant are those peca* 
liar memorials of ice-action which neither the landslip, nor 
the avalanche, nor the vibrations of the earthquake, nor any 
known agent but ice can produce, and which the torrent 
whether of mud or water cannot cause, but on the contrarj 
immediately effaces. 

I had imagined that as the Iteuss has strewn the country 
below the Lake of Lucerne with erratics and glaciated (or 
polished, furrowed, and scratched) blocks and pebbles, that 
when I followed for a day and a half's journey the valley of this 
same Reuss up to its source from Altorf to Andermatt and 
beyond, I shall find the evidence of the old glacier still more 
clear. But I positively could not find one proof, except 
some talus-like moraines and two or three roches mouUm^ 
niesy of ice-action. Had I searched longer I should no 
doubt have met with them, but I had expected them to ob- 
trude themselves on my notice as they do in the low country of 
Switzerland far from the Alps. Crossing the Furka I came 
down upon the glacier of the Rhone, examined its lateral mo- 
raines (of small size), the blocks on its surface, and afterwards 
its terminal moraine, with a view of ascertaining what propor- 
tion of the stones, whether angular or rounded, had been so 
dealt with by the ice, that if I brought any of them away, 
they would be recognisable as glacial by a practised eye. I 
began to count, but not finding one in a hundred, no, nor 
in two hundred, was soon tired out, and I repeated the samc^ 
experiment afterwards on other glaciers and with the like 
result. Several times when I and three or four companions 
(guides and volunteers) looked sharply for hours in the 
moraines on or around the glacier, we observed a few good 
examples of smoothed and scratched boulders which were 
unmistakable, but they must each have made one only in 
many thousands — a singular contrast to what we witness 
when we go far away from the spots where alone Nature 
is now manufacturing specimens of this peculiar kind. 

As to the medial moraines which travel down on the sur- 

i857. GLACIERS. 257 

face of the ice, I do nofc see how we are to expect any frag- 
ments of rock in such a situation to differ from the talus of 
the foot of a precipice, except occasionally that such 
moraines have had some friction between the ice and the 
rocks which bounded the tributary glacier. And in regard 
to stones which have been ground against the bottom, I can- 
not help suspecting that after glaciation they most of them 
get rolled by the powerful torrent which runs beneath the 
glacier for many miles, and bursts out usually from a large 
arch at the end. The triturating power of these Alpine 
torrents is enormous, and in a short distance they would 
obliterate every groove and scratch. 

In the glacial period, when the weight of ice was enor- 
mously greater, when in the region of the Alps there was so 
little melting, when glaciers at present only ten, fifteen, and 
twenty miles long and from 300 to 1,000 feet deep, were 50 to 
100 or even 150 miles long, and 4,000 feet deep (and if there 
is any truth at all in the generally received theory of the old 
Swiss glaciers such must have been their gigantic dimensions), 
one may readily grant that the pressure and friction were so 
much in excess of what we now see, as to explain the. con- 
trast betweea the ice work done in the olden times and that 
accomplished in our own days, to say nothing of the prob- 
ably disproportionate length of the periods compared. 

But you will naturally say that I am going too fast in as- 
suming that the glaciers are a vera coitsa, and adequate to do 
all, if only enough of time and of cold be allowed. This is 
the great question, to answer which I came this year to the 
higher Alps, being desirous to see the proofs with my own 
eyes. I began with what I did not see, because taking me 
by surprise it made the greatest impression on me, and be- 
cause it removes many diflSculties which I had in Forfarshire, 
where in passing through Clova, and over the granitic por- 
tion of the Grampians as far as Deeside, I was disappointed 
at missing good evidence of glacial strise, &c., although I be- 
lieve there were glaciers there in the glacial period. Our 
Scotch erratics, our till or unstratified moraines, and in some 
places our dome-shaped rocks or roches moutonnSeSy are just 
what we find here even in those places where it is excessively 
difficult to meet with smoothed pebbles or blocks with paraUel 


258 Sl/i CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx. 

grooving. It seems that most granites and nearly all the 
crystalline schists will not readilj take or retain such mark- 
ings. Limestone, and still more Serpentine, are the best, but 
the limestones must not be exposed to the atmosphere, or 
they soon decompose superficially and lose their distinctive 
markings, and I have examined blocks even of these calca- 
reous and serpentinous stones by hundreds on the glacier 
and in its moraine, without meeting with any indubitable 
signs of glacial action. Such negative facts have surely not 
been dwelt upon enough by Agassiz and many other writers 
on this subject. But now for what J did see. First, the 
small size of the lateral moraines of the Bhone Glacier some 
way above its termination, and the equally small scale of the 
terminal or frontal moraine of the same, astonished me. I saw 
afterwards some twice as big (thirty-five feet high perhaps, 
and twenty or thirty broad), and I have read of some much 
larger. The old moraines of Switzerland are 160 and 200 feet 
high, to say nothing of that one opposite Vevay and Lausanne, 
said to be 800 feet. I suspect that Zollikofer, in saying that 
the lateral moraine of the glacier of Macugnaga S. of Monte 
Bosa is 1 50 feet high, means the old moraine of the extinct 
glacier, for he speaks of vegetation on it, whereas I never 
saw even a lichen on any recent moraine. Hooker I think 
saw recent moraines in the Himalaya 200 or 300 feet high ! 
The steepness of the modern terminal moraine of the Rhone 
on both sides, and of others since seen, at angles of between 
35° and 45°, and so sharp at the top as scarce to afford room 
for one's foot, is singular. There ib an old terminal moraine 
120 yards in advance of the new one of the Rhone Glacier, 
covered with wild plants, some in full flower, and cut through 
in two places by the river, showing entire absence of strati- 
fication, its height only fiftecTi feet, width 90, slope in parts 
37°. The next I saw was the Viesch Glacier above Brieg, 
or in the Upper Vallais. 

Although it is annually advancing, yet the melting back 
of its termination during the heat of this unusually hot 
summer, gave me what I wanted, an opportunity of seeing 
under it, or of observing the floor of granite on which it had 
pressed eight months before. My guide took me under an 
arch of ice, and I saw a rounded and domed surface of 

1 8 57. ZERMATT GLACIER, 259 

granite, smootli and with straight furrows, a quarter of an inch 
deep, exactly in the direction of the onward movement of the 
glacier. Although there is usually a dripping of water from 
the ice in such places, it was so dry here that I had to blow 
out of the rectilinear grooves the fine polishing powder as it 
has been called. Not only were there furrows on the top, 
but also on the sloping sides of the granite boss, and they 
were also nearly parallel to the others, because I suppose the 
plastic (or viscous ?) mass of ice, with stones frozen into it, 
enveloped the granite, and moving the whole of it forward iu 
the same direction, cut channels in the sloping sides as well 
as on the tops. All this was what I had read about, but I 
was pleased at seeing another sign of the freshness of the 
action of the glacier. Some dark-bluish slate rock had left 
streaks of colour which 1 could wash ofiF — it could not grind 
the granite, but had lost a portion of itself and left its mark 
on the granite. A short distance away from the new 
moraine are abundant signs of old moraines and roches 
mnutonnSes and rocks in situy grooved in the direction of 
the valley, but I had not time to look for striated pebbles. 
I could find none in the existing moraine, only one imper- 
fectly furrowed piece of mica-schist. 

Next I explored the Zermatt Glacier, two days at its ter- 
mination, and another day high up above its middle portion 
at the foot of the Rifielhorn, crossing it and seeing all the 
medial moraines. A few years ago this last examination 
would have required one to camp out. Now an hotel more 
than 7,000 feet above the sea, renders it easy to one who is 
not fatigued by a mountain ride, and who can stand half a 
day's walk over the ice. One of my guides had acquired a 
keen eye for glacial markings. I was assisted by an intelli- 
gent Swiss, the young landlord of the Rififel Hotel, also by 
Mr. Sclater of Oxford, whom I had met at Sir W. Jardine's, 
and by another of my guides. After hours of search, I 
began to despair of ever seeing amongst thousands, one 
truly glaciated transported or travelling block. At last, 
under the Rififelhorn, on the right lateral moraine, we saw a 
splendid angular mass of granite which measured in length 
59 feet, width 49, height 42 Paris feet (I had borrowed a 
tape measure of 45 feet on the French scale] ; nearly all of 

B 2 

260 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx. 

one of its sides was beautifully polished and furrowed, while 
the other sides were perfectly rough. In some places a very 
distinct set of small scratches parallel to each other, but not 
to the prevailing grooves, were visible. By confining our at- 
tention to the green or serpentine stones, we obtained here 
and elsewhere in the modern (and in the ancient moraines 
which appear in the same valleys at heights of several 
hundred feet) a very few well-scored pebbles, and now and 
then in the old moraines a fine surface of serpentine, with 
two or even three sets of strise. 

The rapid advance of all the glaciers I have visited is 
manifest. In the chaotic mass which the terminal moraine 
of Zermatt (or Gomer Glacier) presented, I saw beams of 
wooden chalets and roofing tiles. In the moraine of the 
Zmutt Glacier I remarked a large rock with lichens on it. 
This was so unusual that I walked round it, and found on 
the other side of it a fine larch tree with its leaves still green. 
I then discovered that the glacier had closed round a small 
island of rock covered with large larches, and had detached 
several huge fragments of the rock, and pushed them into the 
moraine. Farther on I found on the outer slope of the moraine, 
which was fifteen feet high, and sloped at 35° to 46% no 
less than eight large larch trees with their roots buried in the 
mass of mud and stones, and their boughs and trunks pro* 
trudiiig in horizontal and oblique directions. Both in the 
Zermatt and Findeln glacier-moraines I found fresh green 
turf of meadows rolled up and mixed confusedly with the 
mud and stones. I was shown some meadows where the 
Zermatt Glacier had penetrated some eighty feet last year, 
although in other places it had moved forward much less. 
Wishing to determine its average rate of progress, and 
learning from the cure of Zermatt that it had reached a 
certain brook which descends from the Furg Glacier sixty 
years ago, I mounted the glacier with two guides, and mea- 
sured the distance, which gave a mean annual advance of 
f oily- three French feet. In the last sixty years it has walked 
over the site of forty-three chalets of men or beasts ; three 
very lately. They usually remove most of the woodwork 
before the ice comes and shoves the moraines against 


To one in search of the recent doings of the ice, or want- 
ing to study the geological monuments which an extinct 
glacier would leave to after times, it would be more advan- 
tageous to visit the Alps in a period of recession. One 
wishes to see what is going on at the very bottom, where the 
pressure and friction are greatest. I often congratulated 
myself that I was not trying to convert a sceptic by showing 
him what a glacier in full activity could do. It is like tftking 
a Wernerian who denied the igneous origin of trap to a very 
active volcano, such as Vesuvius. He would see nothing but 
cinders and fireworks, and, for lack of power to observe what 
was doing far below, would go away a worse sceptic than he 
came. But, thanks to the summer heat, I saw enough to 
make me believe the more abundant evidence which others 
have seen in those glaciers where the rocks are more favour- 
able to a display of polished and scored surfaces. Even the 
few I found imply the existence of thousands, just as if you 
find one or two marine shells in a deposit after searching a 
day or two, you expect that time and patience may bring to 
light a whole marine fauna. 

On visiting the Findeln Glacier I ascertained that it 
is in full march forwards, ploughing up the meadows and 
felling fir trees, and* has been so for two years at least, 
and has gained, they say, still more remarkably in height, 
above sixty feet in advance, and more in altitude, so say 
the neighbours. Before that time they say it was sta- 

Its aspect is to the south of west, that of Zermatt NNE. ; 
and if, as Darwin says in reference to the Andes, the amount 
of summer heat has more to do with the growth or decrease 
of a glacier than the quantity of winter's snow, such a dif- 
ference of aspect or exposure to the sun and certain winds 
may go for much, at least for a few years, though when 
there is a continued augmentation of snow on this part of 
the Alps, and of glacier ice, all the glaciers of the same 
group must eventually share in the same movement. At 
present the fear of the Findeln (or Findelen) people is that 
their enemy is now making up for lost time. I was able to 
ascertain by means of a water-lead constructed a month 
before my visit at the end of the Yiesch Glacier, that the ice 

262 5-//? CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx. 

had melted down, or lost in height, exactly five feet at its 
termination in the preceding four weeks. 

Nothing can be more satisfactory than the identity of the 
fresh-made moraine to that older one which is often found 
at a short distance in advance of it, and of larger size, as in 
the case of the Findeln one. The same sharp sand and fine 
impalpable mud, making a mortar-like cement when baked 
in the sun, in which large and small angular stones, some 
few of enormous dimensions, are buried. When you trace 
the same formation almost continuously to the lower country, 
or find what may have been old lateral, and occasionally ter- 
minal moraines here and there with transported blocks, 
belonging to, or derived from mountains in the higher part 
of the same system of valleys, and accompanied with scored 
pebbles increasing in number as you descend, and with 
eiTatics and roches montonnSes; the whole leaves you no 
alternative but to infer that one and the same cause or modus 
operandi has prevailed throughout the whole area. 

Even the marked multiplication and intensifying of the 
glacial agency, the farther one gets from the modern pigmy 
glaciers, seems to me now to militate against my former idea 
of employing floating ice to carry the far transported erratics 
to the Jura and other distant points. I want the grinding 
force of the denser and broader glacier which most of the 
Swiss naturalists have appealed to. The ice-rafts will not 
supply it (the more extended land-glaciers would). But here 
is enough in all conscience for one bout, so I must give you 
a respite. I have said not a word of the splendid scenery of 
the Monte Rosa Alps. The Mont Cervin o* Matterhorn is 
as wonderful as J. Forbes represents it. Every day, as I saw 
Monte Rosa and some of its gigantic neighbours from new 
points of view they gained upon me, and had I stayed longer 
I might have doubted the justness of my first impression, that 
the Zermatt scenery, though grand, was not comparable to 
Chamounix. At any rate, it has the merit of being quite dif- 
ferent. No one peak, not even the Matterhorn, can compare 
with the forms of the Aiguilles of Mont Blanc. We were 
greatly favoured with fine weather. 

Ever most affectionately, 

Chables Lyell. 

i857. TURIN. 263 




To Leonabd Hobneb, Esq. 

Genoa la Saperba : September 21, 1857. 

My dear Homer, — It is more than a week since I last 
wrote to you after my arrival in Turin. In that city I 
found several able geologists, especially Gastaldi, now em- 
ployed in the administration or chief management of a 
Government Polytechnic Institution. Sella, a mineralogist 
and mathematician, and others aided me. Last year, when 
ab Vienna, I heard the savants of Italy much run down by 
the Austrians, but I am sure they only require fair play, and 
they are quite equal to those of Germany. I did not see 
Plana the astronomer, nor Babbage's friend Meuabrea, for it 
was vacation time, and the heat had driven all away before 
we arrived. You remember Playfair, when he visited this 
country, said it was more likely to produce a Newton than 
we in Great Britain to produce a Eaphael. I believe them 
to have naturally an aptitude for science. 

I made many excursions in splendid weather, accom- 
panied by Gastaldi, and in one case by him and Michelotti, 
who has published a work on the tertiary Lower Miocene 
shells of the Superga. I have now had an opportunity of 
comparing the strata containing these shells and others im- 
mediately below them with the ^molasse' of Switzerland, 

284 SIR CHARLES LYELL. char xxxi. 

which they resemble somewhat mineralogically as well as in 
their fossils ; but a good deal has to be done before an exact 
parallelism of the successive sets of Miocene beds on each 
side of the Alps can be made out. I have, I think, made a 
beginning, and as there are some plants in the Turin or 
Bormida series which I have urged Gastaldi to send to Heer 
of Zurich, I expect we shall soon obtain much valuable 
botanical aid from his identifications. 

A comparison also of the extinct glaciers of the Italian 
and Swiss sides of the Alps can better be made from Turin 
than from any other place. Before my arrival I had seen on 
the banks of the Lago Maggiore some good examples of 
erratics and of moraines which had come from the Simplon, 
but these, as you might suppose d priariy are far inferior to 
those which have descended from the Val d'Aosta or which 
belong to the ancient mighty glacier derived from the com- 
bined snows both of the Mont Blanc and the Monto Bosa 
group of Alpine heights. This glacier, although perhaps of 
less gigantic dimensions than that of the Rhone, has cer- 
tainly left, as Gastaldi first pointed out in a memoir on the 
subject in the French Bulletin, a far more imposing monu- 
ment of itself on the plains of the Po than have the extinct 
glaciers of the Rhone or the Rhine in the lower country of 
Switzerland. You may well imagine that having fresh in 
my memory the proofs enumerated in my last letter to you 
of the recent advance of the Viesch and the Zermatt Glaciers 
for a series of years, I was prepared to accept willingly (and 
after my geological experience north of the Alps, to expect) 
evidence of former extensions of the icy masses. 

J. D. Forbes has well shown in his book on the Alps that 
a glacier is a peculiarly sensitive instrument for measuring 
the annual average of heat and cold, and that every slight 
diflFerence of temperature causes it to increase or lessen in 
height and length. If therefore we had come to the conclu- 
sion paleontologically by the greater southern range of 
arctic shells and quadrupeds (e.g. the musk bufiRa.lo and rein- 
deer) that the cold once rea<?hed to lower latitiides than it 
►w, and this at a period geologically speaking very 
ought to look for signs of glaciers belonging to 
mountain chains on a scale corresponding to the 


wintry climate itfiplied by the southward migration of species 
the habits of which are well known to us. Not that I 
believe that geologists of this or the next generation would 
have got so iar as to miss the phenomena which we are now 
only beginning to interpret correctly. I have often thought, 
would the rainbow have been missed by the most profound 
philosophers in optics ? and yet it is as necessary a result of 
certain meteorological conditions as the glacier. It would, 
however, be inexcusable not to welcome the monuments 
which now stare us in the face when they accord so perfectly 
with conclusions derived from evidence so independent in 
kind as are the organic remains. As to those who feel at 
liberty, as Von Buch and Elie de Beaumont have done, to call 
in catastrophes when they are at faidt, it is very unlikely 
that the followers of that school will in our time admit the 
agency, whether of floating ice or of land glaciers, to the 
extent to which we ought now to admit them. Even they 
who have most faith in the adequacy of actual causes, will 
require to dwell on the testimony which I have just alluded 
to, the arctic fossils ranging south, and the ready growth of 
glaciers when favoured by slight changes of temperature, in 
order not to be staggered when they stand amidst the vines 
and the maize and the mulberry trees of the plains of the Fo, 
and are called upon to believe that a lofty mound or ridge 
2,000 feet high, called the Serra, running out into the great 
alluvial flat, is nothing but the left lateral moraine of an 
ancient glacier. That it is so, I am now fully convinced. 

[ had asked Escher whether he knew any sections in 
Switzerland in which either the ancient or recent moraines 
exhibited that singularly contorted arrangement of the beds 
of clay, gravel, and sand, which they display in Forfarshire 
or in the mud cliffs of Norfolk. He told me it was so rare 
to see a fresh section, that he could not give a satisfactory 
answer to my question. Now it so happened that a railway 
is making Irom Turin to Ivrea, and although they cut 
through the lowest part of the terminal moraine near Mazzi, 
they have thought it worth while to make a tunnel through 
which we walked. Near the entrance I was delighted to see 
that curious folding of the strata which will cause the same 
beds to be twice pierced by a perpendicular shaft, yet with- 


out the beds below lia.viii^ participated io tbe movement. I 
have els*^where speculated on the cause. What I feel to be 
important is, that here as in England, when erratics and un- 
stratified mud are in association with stratified materials, 
the latter are liable to be twisted or folded in so extraordinary 
a manner. 

In order to appreciate the distinctive character of thia 
colossal moraine, you must reflect on the uniformity and 
evenness of the vast plain of the Po all round it, for al- 
though really inclined from the Alps, it looks as level as 
the sea ; then fancy the great mounds sloping up at angles 
of 20° and aO" to heights of 5U0, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 feet ; 
then consider that at the very extremity, as near Caluso, 
there are blocks of protogine which have come 100 miles 
from Mont Blanc; also that the whole assemblage of stones 
is not like that which has issued from the Susa or from any 
other vallej, but eonhned to rocks such as now strictly belong 
to the basin of the Dora Baltea ; also that the pebbles aud frag- 
ments of stone, if of serpentine or any easily striable rock, are 
all striated, at least nineteen- twentieths of the whole, whereas 
in a recent glacier which has only travelled ten miles, you 
might only find one in twenty uf the same stone striated ; 
and lastly, think of the narrow vomitory which has disgoi^ed 
this enormous quantity of material, the ravine above Ivrea 
being as obviously the soiirce of the whole, as is the crater 
of Vesuvius the point from which its lavas have issued. 
When Gastaldi read his paper to the Geological Society at 
Paris, written jointly by him and Martens, Elie de Beaumont, 
who had many years before visited the ground, objected en- 
tirely to their conclusion that it was a moraine, but I never 
saw a stronger or more satisfactory case. But in the same 
paper the authors hazarded an opinion that although the old 
Alpine moraines stopped short alter going a few leagues from . 
the Alps, yet at some former time erratics had been conveyed 
to the summit of the Collina just as ' Pierre a bot ' and other 
WocVs had been carripd by the old Rhone Glacier to the 
flanks of the Jura. Now when I read this at Zurich, I 
immediately recollected that in the valley of the Bormida 
whun^X ];iassed from Sivona to Alessandria in 1828, I had 
bet." -ialied at some very huge erratics of serpentine in 

1 857. THE SUPERGA. 267 

the Miocene. Having never seen blocks of such enormous 
dimensions in any tertiary formation, I was relieved in 1828 
at finding in some spots on the Bormida projecting frag- 
ments of serpentine in place, which the erosion of the 
valleys had exposed to view. I concluded that they may 
not have travelled far, and when I saw some large blocks on 
the Snperga (in 1828) I immediately suspected that as that 
hill consisted of beds of the same formation, the blocks 
might have been washed out of the Miocene not far oflF. I 
therefore now suggested this view to Gastaldi, and found 
that he was by no means tenacious of his printed theory, 
although he said that the blocks were many of them angular, 
of very great size, and accompanied by Alpine loam. We 
then examined the beds of the Superga, both those dipping 
to the NW. and those to the SE., and on both sides of this 
anticlinal are strata containing fragments of stone of various 
kinds, some not known in the neighbouring Alps or Apen- 
nines, from two to eight feet in diameter. On our ascent to 
the Superga I saw a thickness of sixty feet regularly strati- 
fied of this conglomerate, in which were fragments consisting 
chiefly of serpentine, but some of limestone, others of proto- 
gine granite, and one of the latter angular and eight feet in 
diameter. In less than half an hour's search, I found two of 
the serpentine and one of the limestone pebbles with 
scratches, which would be called glacial if they were found 
in a modern moraine, though not such as you would select 
fcJr examples for a museum. Still I searched this year in 
some recent moraines quite as long without finding better. 
As to the age of the beds, there is no doubt of their belong- 
ing to the Lower Miocene, the marine fossils of which we 
collected in strata both below and above them. These 
enormous blocks therefore were brought into their present 
position by causes which acted in the Miocene sea. I know 
of no agency but that of ice which could have quietly let 
them down upon subjacent beds of undisturbed fine marl and 
sand. Hence I conclude that there was floating ice in the 
Lower Miocene period, and if the few scratches I saw really 
imply glacial striation, the ice-rafts are probably derived 
from glaciers which came down from mountains bordering 
the Glacial sea; perhaps from the Alps, for that chain must 

268 ^y^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxi. 

have existed before the origin of a large part of the Lower 
Miocene. I have kept the specimeDS I found of these 
Miocene striated stones to show Ramsay, .who will be inter- 
ested in hearing, that in spite of some Brazilian genera of 
trees and insects, and not a few palms, and some reptiles of 
good size, and many other fossil genera found on both sides 
of the Alps and supposed to imply a subtropical climate, 
I am not afraid to appeal to ice as the only known cause 
capable of stratifying these great masses in the manner 
in which they occur. I am sure that in the basins of 
the Tanaro and Bormida there are some rocks of the same 
age very much larger than any I have seen. Professor 
Angelo Sismonda was absent from Turin with the Princes of 
Sardinia, who I hope will become good patrons of geology. 
His brother the paleontologist showed me every attention. 

I hope to find time before reaching Florence to tell you 
of some other geological matters which occupied me at Turin, 
and of several things seen in Switzerland not yet alluded to. 

Signor Cocchi writes to say he is expecting me at La 
Spezzia., where I also learn that there are two active young 
geologists, the Marquis Doria and Signor Campanelli. 
Believe me ever most aflFectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Leonard Hoenee, Esq. 

Ruta, Riviera di Levante : September 25, 1857. 

My dear Horner, — We are stopping to dine half way 
between Genoa and Sestri, having followed the beautiful 
road which skirts the Mediterranean among groves of 
olives and figs, and admiring in the gardens of the numerous 
villas orange trees which stand the winter, and oleanders of 
large size. Herp and there the Pinu8 maritima, with its 
foliage brighter than that of most pines, and some chestnuts 
varied the scene. There are many hedgerows entirely made 
of aloes, and we saw some cactus, reminding us, as did much of 
the vegetation and the steep rocks and the trellised vines, of 
We only saw one date palm, but that also helped 
The rocks however are not, like Madeira, 
composed of what the Swiss call ^ flysch ' and 

1 857. RIVIERA. 269 

the Italians ^maeigno/ a formation of vast thickness and 
without fossils, except a few fucoids. I mentioned it in 
my letters to you last year as being styled at Vienna the 
* Wiener sandstein/ 

It has had the singular fate of having been classed 
during the progress of geology under the head of every 
great division of strata — transition, secondary, tertiary, and 
is now quite proved by Escher and others to be above the 
Dummulitic Eocene. 

I have been seeing this flysch in my Swiss tour (in the 
Vallais among other places), and always with great interest, 
not only because its roofing slates look so very ancient, but 
because the extreme scarcity and general dearth of fossils, 
even where it is not in a metamorphic state, is so singular 
in a rock of this age. It encloses near Genoa some moun* 
tainous masses of pure dolomitic limestone which have also 
proved as yet nnfossiliferous. 

There is I suppose no doubt that Hannibal with his 
African elephants crossed the Alps, though so many essays 
have been written to decide by which pass they got over. 
Dr. Falconer has very properly started another question, 
whether the Siberian elephant ever performed the same feat 
long before. He found all the specimens in the museum of 
Italy to which the name of EL primigeniua was affixed, to 
belong to two or three other species distinct from the 
mammoth, and therefore when he at last reached Turin 
and discovered that they had made the same error in regard 
to several of their proboscidians found in a railway cutting, 
he not only corrected their nomenclature and put the names 
of E. antiquus and E, met^ionalis as substitutes for their 
E. primigeniiLSy but also when he met with a real tooth of 
the last-mentioned species (or mammoth) he put a query as 
to whether it was really a true Piedmontese fossil. 

When I had quite convinced myself that large glaciers 
had once advanced many leagues from the Alps into the 
plains of the Po, I felt sure that a cold climate must once 
have prevailed in the highest bed of the railway cutting 
which 1 only saw as I passed in the ti-ain, but of which 
Gastaldi gave me the details. The marmot has been found, 
the skull very entire, and not distinguishable from the living 

270 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxxl 

Alpine animal. As I had seen in the present tour no less 
than four individuals of this species which Dr. Debey had 
procured from the loess at Aix-la-Chapelle, and another 
which Mr. Morlot got from an old moraine near Lausanne, 
the discovery of this creature in the plains of the Po some 
miles in advance of the terminal moraines of the old southern 
subalpine glaciers seemed to me to render it probable 
that the mammoth might also have availed himself of the 
same cold climate, and at least have extended his range as 
far south as the marmot. Falconer had, I am aware« ex- 
pressed himself with due caution as to the opinion that the 
E, primigenius had never crossed the great chain, since he 
was merely led to suspect it from negative evidence. Bat I 
expect that the mammoth will be the rare exception in Italy, 
and the same heat which melted the glaciers, vast as they 
were, and caused them to terminate so abruptly in the great 
plain to the north of the Po, checked also the southward 
migration of the hairy northern elephant. At any rate the 
publication of Falconer's paper will lead to the speedy clear- 
ing up of this question. 

I had often heard that the old glacier moraines of 
Switzerland had left some curious monuments of their 
ancient extent in places where they have in great part 
wasted away under the influence of fluvial and torrential 
action, and 1 had planned last year a visit to the celebrated 
* pyramids of Botzen ' in the Tyrol, which I presume ex- 
hibit this phenomenon. Having been unable to accomplish 
that point when I went through the Styrian Alps, I was 
not a little pleased to meet with others which fell in my 
way this year. 

The first column which we saw, called the DwarTs Tower 
(or in the patois of Vallais, Zwerglethurm) was near Viesch, 
in a small tributary valley which joins the great valley of the 
Rhone. It is a single isolated pillar no less than thirty-five 
feet high, of sandy mud, such as one sees in every moraine — 
fine mud with sharp sand and angular pieces of various rocks 
scattered irregularly through the paste, and now and then a 
larger rock stuck into the same without any arrangement or 
tion. Now and then some of the small pieces of 
gneiss, or quartz were somewhat rounded. At the 

i857. ZWERGLETHURM. 271 

top are two large blocks which have evidently protected the 
mass below (which is about seven feet in diameter) from 
pluvial action. About 100 feet higher up the same steep 
slope of mica-schist covered with fir trees is a second column 
about twenty-two feet high, but with a much larger block 
on its top, and there are no others in the neighbourhood. 

They are monuments of the complete removal by rain and 
by the melting snow of what was probably an old moraine. 
At any rate I saw similar columns afterwards, some of 
them formed, others in the act of growth, at Stalden in the 
valley of the Visp, which joins the Ehone from the south. 
I measured and made drawings of them, and found them to 
contain erratics of various rocks, which could not have fallen 
down from the rocks above like a talus, besides pebbles of 
serpentine with glacial striae. Unfortunately the Stalden 
pillars have some of them lost their cappings of large 
erratics during the late earthquake of 1855, which did so 
much damage to the town of Visp as well as to Brieg, and 
which caused landslips and the fall of rocky masses from the 
precipices bounding the Visp-thal. These same earthquakes, 
by the way, may explain the origin of some of the gigantic 
masses which, falling on the old glaciers of the glacial 
period, were carried for more than a hundred miles into the 
lower country. 

James Forbes has well compared such pillars as the 
DwarTs Tower to the portions of earth or stone which the 
workmen often leave to test the quantity which they have 
removed. Old Time seems to have resolved to leave us now 
and then a monument of the same kind, without which, in 
such a case as the two pillars near Vieech, we should never 
have given him credit for the extraordinary volume of matter 
he has slowly and quietly carried away. At Stalden we 
should have been able by observing here and there solid 
fragments of the old moraine 800 feet or more above the 
valley-plain to infer a once continuous mass, but I saw 
nothing of the case near Viesch. There are many gorges in 
the Alpine valleys from which the old glacier moraines have 
been quite cleared out by the torrent, the rain, and the 
melting snow, the same moraines being in great force above 
and below the gorges. Just as in Auvergne, one finds a 

272 S/Ji CHARLES LYELL, chap. xxxi. 

stream of lava like that of Tartaret, above Neschers, which 
has been entirely swept away in the course of ages and the 
valley deepened in the granite or other rock which formed 
the de61e, while above and below where the valley widens, 
you see a continuous flat-topped current on one or both 
sides of the river, with its range of basaltic columns below 
and its scorisB above. It is the comparatively small quantity 
of old moraine adhering to the sides of the Alpine gorges 
just above where the old glaciers entered the plains of the 
Po which makes the extraordinary expansion of the moraines 
just below the outlets or embouchures of the same old glaciers 
so striking. But it is clear that the same torrent, which has 
such unlimited erosive power when rolling down a steep 
descent within the Alps, would have little in comparison 
when it came out into the plains of the Po. It would make 
many breaches, as it has done in the great semicircular 
moraine, but it cannot destroy any of its prominent features. 

Ever most affectionately, 

Cha&les Ltell. 

To His Sister. 

Florence : October 4, 1867. 

Dearest Marianne, — It is wonderful to think that it 
should be thirty-nine years since I was here for the first time 
with you and Fanny, for that visit seems to me as recent or 
more so than many things which have happened not half so 
long ago. It was the year before that only, that Mary's 
uncle, Francis Horner, died, whose marble tomb, with the 
medallion executed by Chantrey, we went to see at Leghorn 
on Thursday, in the Protestant cemetery, surrounded by 
China roses in full bloom and half hid by oleanders, which 
the custode told us were full of flowers for the earlier part 
of the summer. It was evid nt that that monument, and 
the one to Smollett, who was also bui ied there, are the lions 
of the place, as the woman who shows it did not know who 
we were, and selected them. Mary went also at Pisa with 
me to see the room where her uncle died, which happened to 
be unoccupied. 

It was a great treat to us at this same Pisa, to receive 

1 857. INDIAN MUTINY. 273 

your long letter about the four bairns whose diflFerent charac- 
ters you have so well described. We cannot be thankful 
enough that Harry ^ and his family were safe out of India 
before this fearful insurrection began. When one thinks of 
the warnings of Mounts tuart Elphin stone, Sir Thomas 
Munro, and above all Sir Charles Napier, and his words 
about * caste being another name for mutiny,' one cannot but 
feel indignant at the supineness and apathy with which all 
ordinary precautions were neglected at Calcutta, and at home. 

I have much enjoyed the geology of the Pisan Hills, a 
beautiful country. As the Professor of Geology, Savi, was 
not quite well, and only able to show me the museum, he 
sent an assistant with me who knew not a word of any 
language but Italian. I was well pleased to find that I 
could converse with him the whole day without fatigue, and 
I only wish I could say the same of my German, which I 
look upon as about four times as difficult to one who starta 
with English, French, and Latin. I find a good deal of 
scientific activity in Italy, so far as I have gone, especially 
in Piedmont. We saw the Somervilles yesterday j consider- 
ing that she is seventy-eight, and he a good many years older, 
they are marvellously well. Both her books are requiring 
new editions in England, her ' Geography,' and the * Connec- 
tion of the Sciences.' 

We have taken our places in a large steamer which sails 
direct from Leghorn to Messina, only touching a few hours 
at Civita Vecchia (for Rome), and at Naples, and then going 
on to the East. 

Believe me ever your affectionate brother, 

Chables Lyell. 

To George Hartung, Esq. 

Naples : October 16, 1857. 

My dear Hartung, — I was very glad to receive your 
letter. I have already seen much in this neighbourhood ; 
above all, several streams of lava in motion, some going 
fast, others very slow, and they have given me many new 
ideas. The manner in which they cling to a slope of 27** 

* His brother, Colonel Lyell. 
VOL. n. T 

274 S/J^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxt. 

is very striking, and they cover continiwusly an immense 
area, one-half of the whole cone in five and a half months, 
by always flowing between preceding currents. All the 
currents described by Scacchi of 1850-1855 are overwhelmed, 
the prismatic lava of 1855 concealed under new torrents 
which are as steep, but perhaps not so un-vesicular. 

As to the walls of Somma, so far as I have yet re- 
examined them, they oflFer no difficulty whatever. They are 
simply thin-bedded lavas, rarely very continuous, alternating 
with dense beds of coarse tuff and lapilli and coarse con- 
glomerates, at an angle of 27**. 

I begin seriously to doubt whether any of the rents, 
which are now dikes, imply distension as De Beaumont 
assumes. Scacchi's observations seem to show that they are 
rather the effect of a failure of support, and attended with a 
partial sinking. But I will explain more when I have 
devoted more days to the examination of this region. 

I believe from what I am now seeing, and what I recollect 
of Etna, I shall be able a month hence to tell you that here 
in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, as in Madeira, when the 
beds are highly inclined they are thin bedded, one or two or 
five feet thick, and where the inclination is slight, as five or 
six degrees, they are often very thick, twenty and fifty feet 

I have been delayed here by the extreme irregularity of 
Neapolitan steamers, and shall not reach Etna for six days. 
There is, I hear, a small eruption going on there. I am glad 
of it, for I am now sure that no one can describe lava flowing 
so as fully to make others understand it. I assure you I 
scarcely expected to find so much confirmation in a few days 
of the upbuilding, as contrasted with the upheaval theory. 
Scacchi is my companion, and a scholar of his, Guiscardi. 
I do not believe that Scacchi would allow that one-fourth of 
the inclination in Madeira could with any probability be 
attributed to upheaval. But all that we say is, that this is 
the maximum of what may be. We do not say it must have 
been. All the movement here is bodily, as you say of the 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

1857. THE CAMPAGNA, 275 

Lady Lyell desires her kindest regards, and begs me to 
say she is sorry you are not with ns. So am I, but every day 
makes me feel that you would only have been confirmed in 
the true doctrines, which you have gradually and not hastily 
embraced. I shall claim you as the first of my pupils in the 
volcanic line, and you will soon have seen more than I have, 
at the rate you proceed. 

To His Sistee-in-Law, Mi?8 Susan Horner. 

Avignon : December 1 9, 1857. 

Dearest Susan, — I do not wonder that you were so 
charmed with Rome. It certainly combines a greater variety 
of attractions than any place. The sculpture struck me more 
than ever. As to the antiquities, much has been done since 
my preceding visit more than a quarter of a century before. 
The catacombs I never heard of when I first went there. 
If half a million were buried in this way for five centuries or 
more, the number would of course be immense, and after all, 
if they used the volcanic tuff for pozzolana, I can fancy its 
being a cheaper form of burial than ours, as the room 
required for the mere body in a winding-sheet was so much 
less than for a coffin, and the volcanic matter removed worth 

The circus of Romulus Maxentius, entirely discovered and 
disclosed since I was last there, is a very grand monument 
of antiquity. I was also much pleased with the theatre of 
Tusculum, and what little I could see of the amphitheatre. 
The Alban Lake, also, which I went all round for geological 
purposes, and the sight of Old Alba. Within the walls also 
of Rome, much has been done to display the antiquities. 

The geology of the Campagna, and especially of the 
Latin Hills and Hannibal's Camp, is very instructive, and 
there also one falls in with all kinds of Roman antiquities 
which Ponza explained to us. There is, moreover, a singular 
advantage which I did not appreciate before in the Campagna, 
arising from its being so unhealthy in summer and autumn, 
that they can only get good rents by leaving it in a pastoral 
condition. By this means one has a boundless space almost 
in a <(tate of nature, close to a great centre of the arts and 

T 2 

276 S//^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxi. 

of antiquities, and where there is much agreeable society 
brought near together, and in a way to promote much social 
intercourse, with good things to talk about. All the natur* 
alists expatiated to me on the beauty of the wild flowers in 
spring. I saw some, and several butterflies even in 
November. What a charm there is in seeing no hedges and 
fences, and straight ditches and ploughed fields! As a 
woman said to us, who after settling in Nova Scotia for 
seven years, returned to pay a visit to Manchester (?),*! am 
truly sorry for people who are obliged to live where they 
cannot move a yard out of a straight turnpike road without 
committing a trespass.' There is some compensation, there- 
fore, even in the malaria. Menighini of Pisa endeavoured 
to account for the increase of this pest since the Augustan 
age by the gradual sinking down of the west coast, which 
has submerged a considerable tract, and sent the aguish air 
of the marshes up the Tiber and other rivers. I had heard 
so many theories before, that I was surprised they were not 
exhausted, and this seems more likely than most of them, if 
the subsidence be as certain as he affirms. 

The weather during four days* excursions into the Pisan 
Hills, and the hills between Volterra and Siena, was most 
delightful ; the air so clear, the sky so blue, and the sun, 
though in December, so genial. The vegetation in those 
parts not monopolised by the olives was sufficiently unlike 
our own to interest me. Evergreen oaks, with an under- 
growth of an evergreen called Cytisus salidfoliay and the 
Cratwyxis pyraranthuSy which we have introduced so much, 
and a heath almost as high as Erica arboreay but what they 
call by another name. On some hills we had zones of olives, 
chestnuts, and pines, one above the other. 

I forgot to tell you that Mr. Gibson inquired much after 
you, and paid handsome compliments to your skill in mo- 
delling. Miss Hosmer has bought a new spirited horse. 
Gibson told hf r it would throw her, but she said she should 
ride it for all that. He says she has great perseverance, and 
works very steadily. Gibson wanted an account of his 
allegorical sculptures, which accompany his statue of the 
Duke of Wellington, to be printed in an Italian periodical, 
but the censor actually struck out the description of the 

2857. GIBSON. 277 

angel carrying the Duke's soul up to heaven, as this was 
impossible, seeing that he was a heretic. Gibson has kept 
the proofs with the censor's erasures, and certainly they are 
a curiosity in the year 1857. He told us the story in sight 
of the new column raised to the Immaculate Conception^ and 
with this in the background, no open display of superstition 
ought to astonish one. 

Considering that no lectures on geology are authorised 
in the Sapienza, I was amused at the late French ambassador 
Count de Rayneval having made a splendid collection of 
tertiary fossils in the hill of the Vatican, which he and 
Ponza are preparing for publication. They are curious, and 
intermediate it seems between Miocene and Pliocene. For 
five years they have worked away under the Pope's window, 
to throw light on the earth's antiquity. 

We hope to see you now in a week or ten days. 

Ever yours affectionately, 

Chables LT£LL. 

278 SII^ CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxxii. 




[After spending some weeks of the summer of 1858 with his 
brother's family in the Berg near Darmstadt, gastric fever at- 
tacked his young nephews, and leaving Jiis wife with the then conva- 
lescent patients, Sir Charles set off at the- end of August on a tour to 
revisit Vesuvius and Etna, the result of which was an important paper 
on the * Origin of Mount Etna and on the Theory of Craters of Eleva- 
tion,' which was read at the Royal Society. Large extracts from Sir 
Charles's Journal, addressed to his wife, are given in the following 
pages. The Copley Medal, ^ the highest reward of the Royal Society, 
was conferi"ed on Sir Charles Lyell this year.] 

To Geoege Ticknor, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London : January 2.S, 1858. 

My dear Ticknor, — It is so long since we have had any 
direct correspondence, that I shall write you a short letter, 
and beg for some account of your present occupations beyond 
what I gain from the interesting letters which Mrs. Ticknor 
and Anna have sent, and what the newspapers told us of 

' *Nie ist wohl die Copley Medal einem AVerke gewidmet worden, das 
zur Verbreitung und Vervollkomnung einer Wissenschaft heilsamer gewesen 
ist, als den schonen " Principles of Geology " unsers cdlen Freundes Sir Charles 
Lyell.' — Extract of a letter from Baron von Humboldt to Madame Pertz, early 
in 1869. 

1858. RAJAH BROOKE. 279 

the opening of the Boston Library, and your part in that 
affair, in which we .know from other sources how much you 
have done. It was fortunate for us, as we could have done 
no good if here, to be engaged on a tour on the Continent, 
when the horrors of the Indian mutiny and the anxieties of 
the commercial crisis were agitating people's minds all over 

My tour was unusually profitable, first in the glaciers 
and then the volcanos. I came to the conclusion that 
Agassiz, Guyot, and others are right in attributing a great 
extension to the ancient Alpine glaciers, and that floating 
ice which I believe has done much in Great Britain, Scandi- 
navia, and the United States will not aid, as I formerly 
suspected, in explaining the transfer of Alpine erratics to 
the Jura. I found Agassiz's map of the Zermatt glaciers and 
moraines very correct and useful. 

We dined with the Milmans yesterday, both very well ; 
their three sons also. We met Macaulay (the new peer), 
looking rather older, and with a baddish cold and cough, but 
cheerful, and telling many a good story ; the Chancellor, 
and Lady Cranworth, both looking in good health ; the 
Monteagles, Sir Henry Holland, who had been far, as usual, 
in a short time, among other places at Jerusalem, and in 
sight of the Pyramids. I think you saw when here the 
Herman Meri vales. We dined there last week, and met 
among other public characters, Bajah Brooke of Borneo. 
He told me that nearly all the Malays could read and write, 
and might be rapidly improved if they had better things to 
read, but the Methodist and other missionaries will only trans- 
late into the Malay language things which neither they nor 
he (i.e. neither the Malays nor Bajah Brooke) cared to read. 
What would you recommend them to give them instead? * I 
would begin with the "Arabian Nights' Entertainments."' 

We have just voted at the Eoyal Society 150/. to Mr. 
Mallet, an engineer and geologist, who has offei'ed to go 
and collect physical facts relating to the great earthquake 
south of Naples. I have had him with me half the morning, 
and expect he will do us good service. 

Have you seen Mr. Buckle's book, ' History of Civilisation 
in England ' ? I have just bought it — full of talent^ and 

280 • SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxn. 

having the great merit of setting people thinking. I am 
prepared to find paradoxes and contradictions, as I did in the 
conversation of the man himself, but jou will do well to get 
it for youiTself and your Library as soon as you can. That 
large party here who exert a severe censorship on all who 
dare to think differently from the * endowed doctrines,' as 
Channing called them, are up in arms, and threaten to 
blackball the author at the Athenseum, but I hope thej will 
fail, or that the committee will elect him before the ballot. 
For so bold a book, it is having a considerable sale. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To J. W. Dawson, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : February 14, 1868. 

Dear Dawson, — Dr. Fleming's loss was very sudden and 
pnexpected by me. Less than two and a half years ago, 
Hugh Miller and Fleming accompanied me severally on 
many excursions about Edinburgh. Miller was the extinction 
of a great light who was making steady progress, and daring 
to declare his faith as he went on. 

I spent more than two months in the glaciers of Switzer- 
land (last autumn) and came to the opinion that the trans- 
portation of all the blocks in the Swiss valleys, and between 
the Alps and Jura, and on the Jura, and also on the plains 
of the Po, was effected without the agency of the sea. 
Agassiz, Guyot, and some who went before, were, I think, 
right in this. I found all the glaciers advancing from year 
to year. 

I then went to Naples and Catania, and re-examined 
Vesuvius, which was in full activity, and Etna, the latter 
much altered, especially in the Val del Bove, since I was 
there in 1828. 

My convictions derived from my first visits in favour of 
the origin of those mountains from a series of eruptions, and 
against the Von Buchian theory of Elevation Ciuters, have 
been fully confirmed. I am writing a paper for the Royal 
Society on the subject. 

We are getting on well at the Geological. 


It will indeed be a great point for you if Sir Edmund 
Head and the Government settle at Montreal. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

!Z\) Leonard Hobneb, Esq. ^y^ V*'*'^ 

London: March 12, 1858. 

My dear Homer, — Mary has written a journal of our pro- 
ceedings to you, and I shall merely add a few words about the 
last meeting of the Geological Society, when Darwin read a 
paper on the * Connection of Volcanic Phenomena and Eleva- 
tion of Mountain Chains,' in support of my heretical doc- 
trines; he opened upon De la B^che,. Phillips, and others (for 
Greenough was absent) his whole battery of the earthquakes 
and volcanos of the Andes, and argued that spaces at least a 
thousand miles long were simultaneously subject to earth- 
quakes and volcanic eruptions, and that the elevation of the 
whole Pampas, Patagonia, &c., all depended on a common 
cause — also that the greater the contortions of strata in a 
mountain chain, the smaller must have been each separate 
and individual movement of that long series which was 
necessary to upheave the chain. 

Phillips pronounced a panegyric upon the * Principles of 
Geology,* and although he still differed, thought the actual 
cause doctrine had been so well put, that it had advanced 
the science, and formed a date or era, and that for centuries 
the two opposite doctrines would divide geologists, some con- 
tending for greater pristine forces, others satisfied like Lyell 
and Darwin with the same intensity as Nature now employs. 
Fitton quizzed Phillips a little for the warmth of his eulogy, 
saying that he and others who had Lyell always with them, 
were in the habit of admiring and quarrelling with him every 
day, as one might do with a sister or cousin, whom one would 
only kiss and embrace fervently after a long absence. This 
seemed to be Mr. Phillips's case — coming up occasionally from 
the provinces. Fitton then finished this drollery by charg- 
ing me with not having done justice to Button, who he said 
was for gradual elevation. I replied that most of the critics 
had attacked me for overrating Hutton, and that Play fair 
understood him as I did. Whewell concluded by consider^ 

282 ^IR CHARLES LYELL. CHAP, xxxii. 

ing Hopkins's mathematical calculations, to which Darwin 
had often referred, in reference to D.'s theory. He also said 
that we ought not to try and make out what Hutton would 
haye taught and thought, if he had known the facts which 
we now know. I was much struck with the diflferent tone in 
which my gradual causes were treated by all, even including 
De la Beche, from that which they experienced in the same 
room four years ago, when Buckland, De la Bdche, Sedgwick, 
Whewell, and some others treated them with as much ridi- 
cule as was consistent with politeness in my presence. 

Tours affectionately, 

Charles Ltell. 

To George Hartung, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London : March 22, 185S. 

Dear Hartung, — I have had a letter from Mr. Wollastou, 
who is now in Teneriffe with Mr. Lowe, formerly of Madeira, 
and who is now collecting plants while Wollaston collects 
Coleoptera in the Canaries. For six weeks they had the 
loan of a friend's yacht, and went to Hierro and Gomera, 
spending some time in exploring each entomologically and 
botanically ; but I am sorry to say neglecting the shells ex- 
cept when they obtruded themselves on their attention. 
Wollaston says, however, they got some thirty species, mostly 
different specifically from those of Madeira. The weather 
having become more genial, they took Teneriffe in hand, and 
mean next to go to * the wooded caldera of Palma,' where 
Wollaston expects to get plenty of beetles. He speaks with 
great admiration of the native and uninjured forests of Hierro, 
but with much disappointment of the cleared country of the 
vaUey of Tarro. 

Not a word about geology ; but Prof. Piazzi Smyth has 
just returned from an astronomical tour in Teneriffe, and 
published a book upon it, in which there are geological ob- 
servations scattered here and there. He and his wife en- 
camped some 9,000 feet high on the peak, or rather got the 
sailors of the vessel which took them out, to build a rough 
shelter with blocks of lava. 

I am getting on with my reading up for my paper on 


* Etna ,' a course of reading which will be useful for Madeira. 
I find that Waltershausen imagines almost all the stony beds 
which you and I should consider as lavas, and which are 
parallel to the tufiFs and scoriae, to be injected in the form of 
dikes ! By this means he obtains proof of great upheaval. 
But he is against any great catastrophe, and goes to work as 
patiently as I do. Pray let me know what you are studying 
and reading and writing. As to upheaval on Etna, I saw 
very few beds which required it, and what we allowed as 
possible for Madeira, or one-fourth of the whole, is the utmost 
which is wanted, or probable in any part of Etna. 

Ever faithfully yours, 

Chakles Ltell. 

To Geoege Hartuno, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : April 22, 1858. 

My dear Hartung, — I was glad to hear that you had 
observed in the Azores those mica-schist and- other fragments, 
which I believe will turn out to have been transported by 
ice. But you would have followed it up with more spirit, 
and traced them to their maximum height, had you thought 
of the glacial theory when there. Icebergs get as far south 
in mid-Atlantic in our time, and if so, thousands of them 
may have floated there annually in the old glacial period. 

Our present schemes for the summer are still somewhat 
vague, but probably we shall leave this in July for some 
place on the Rhine near Heidelberg or Darmstadt. I should 
like you to join me, that I may go over the MS., especially 
the illustrations of our joint paper or papers on volcanic 
subjects. I also hope to get to Ziirich and Berne in the 
course of the autumn, and see Heer, Escher, and the Swiss 
geologists, but nothing is yet fixed. As soon as I have got 
off my hands what I have to say on Etna and Vesuvius, I shall 
return with more knowledge to Madeira and the Canaries. 
I mean to allow some upheaval in case of Etna, but exceed- 
ingly subordinate in proportion. So also in the case of 
Vesuvius. Scacchi and some of the best observers in Italy 
doubt whether any is absolutely necessary in the case of 
Vesuvius. A few local and partial dislocations may of coui'se 

284 SIR CHARLES LVElL. chap, xxxii. 

happen, and jon may find beds vertical, but Bach accidents 
are more likely to derange the symmetry of cones than to be 
the cause of that symmetry. But I will not allow the ex- 
travagance of the ultra-upheavalists who call Monte Nuovo 
a case of erhebungy to provoke me into a denial that there 
has probably been some central distension which has modi- 
fied the more dominant influence of the outpouring of lava 
and the outthrow of sconce, &c. 

Ever yours sincerely, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Charles Bukbubt, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : June 11, 1858. 

My dear Bunbury, — ^I am sorry I have no specimen of 
Equisetum Lyelliiy but I will inquire about it. I am glad 
you have taken up that subject, and hope you will publish 
on it separately — of capital mixed geologico-botanical 

Yesterday morning Eobert Brown ' breathed his last. 
They told him they might keep him alive even till Christmas 
possibly, Brodie, Bright, and Boott, by opium and stimulants, 
but he preferred not to live with a mind impaired, and so 
cheerfully and tranquilly, and in full possession of his intel- 
lect, gave way to the break up of nature. Every one who 
has been with him in his last days agrees with me in 
admiring the resignation with which he met his end, and the 
friendly way he talked and took leave of us all. Boott has 
been constantly with him, and looks much worn. Bennett 
sat up with him many nights, 

I read my paper, or rather spoke it, last night at the 
Royal Society to a good audience. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

* The eminent botanist. 


y^..,-../A^, .c:,/.,,^/,.., , ^.,....,, ■:^. C-,..'!:.yi.,.,..,.,:^L^^ 


To His Wipe, 

Basle : August 24, 1858. 

Mj dearest Mary, — Between Bensheim and Heidelberg I 
found myself in a second class carriage, quite full ; how they 
talk as contrasted with first class ! It is the way to absorb 
German with a plentiful supply of tobacco smoke in one's 
lungs and clothes. At Heidelberg I took first class, a hand- 
some saloon ; nine others, all English, absolutely dumb, ladies 
and gentlemen. All turned out at Baden-Baden, and I was 
then alone to Basle. What a splendid panorama of the 
Bheinthal ! I drew back all the blinds, and could walk 
about the room with Bach's map spread on the carpeted 
floor. No map is better coloured geologically for giving a 
pictorial idea of a large part of Europe to the eye of one 
accustomed to associate scenery with the natureof the rocks. 
You remember, some three years ago, I was discouraged by 
some of our Berlin geological friends from purchasing this 
valuable map, because they flattered themselves that Von 
Decken's, and the Geological Society of Berlin, would so 
soon come out with a better one, on as large a scale, and 
this is the third journey I have proflted by it, and Walters- 
hausen told me Von Decken's had not yet appeared. 

The volcanic mass of the Kaiserstuhl stands out very 
prominently in the valley, and is well seen from the railway. 
The old Rhine, long after it was extinct, covered it by its 
annual inundations of mud, till it was nearly potted up in 
loess, and the modem Rhine has never been able, when it re- 
excavated the great valley, to wash it clean again. So it is 
blindfold work, as there are no continuous sections, merely a 
peep at the rocks here and there. 

CuloZy near Perte du Rhone: August 26, 1868. — We have 
had a splendid drive from Greneva along the banks of the 
Rhone for some sixty miles. I should like to have seen the 
improvements in the town of Geneva, new streets, churches, 
hotels built since we were last there, but I hope some day, 
ere very long, that we may see them together. 

The arch over the river called the Perte du Rhone exists 

2^9 SIR CHARLES LYEUL chap, xxxil 

no lon^r ; ther Iiare broken down the limestone arch imder 
which the rirer flowed in a deep narrow gorje, in order to 
let the wood float down freelr. This scenerr is in the Jnrm 
where that chain joins the Alps. What with changes of 
raOwar carriages when the trarellers for Ljons and for Italj 
difided, and the French donane first, and then the Sardinian, 
and a change to a steamer on the picturesque Lac de Bonrget, 
surrounded by magnificent precipices of limestone, something 
in the style of the Saltzburg Alps, there were many oppor- 
tunities of losing luggage. One lady's went wrong, another 
Wt a heary purse in our carriage, but I got it restored to 
her. On the lake I fell in with Signor, now Caraliere Bezzi, 
returning with despatches from London in two days, as liTelr 
and wide awake as if he had slept in a bed erery night, and 
going to cross Mount Cenis without stopping, and to see 
Count Cavour on his arrivaL He has been active in the 
Sardinian Parliament, and lives on his property on the 
Mount Ferrat (Superga chain) near Turin, has founded 
several schools, some infant ones, preached against by the 
clergy chiefly for founding them as a heretic and Protestant, 
and with such effect that he lost his seat, with many others, 
at the last election. Count Cavour offered to bring him in 
for a distant county, but he said he must in that case 
abandon all his schools and the superintendence of his private 
affairs, but next spring the Government has proposed his 
coming in for an adjoining county. Bezzi tells me, what I 
am sorry to hear, that all the old nobility are alienated from 
the constitutional system, because in 1849 primogeniture 
was abrogated, * un fait accompli ' which Cavour could not 
alter if he would. 

I remarked, * Now you will in the next generation have 
only two powers, the King and People ; a republic or an 
absolute monarchy as in France, and as your people will not 
yet be advanced enough for the Republic, especially if you 
succeed in your desire to unite all Italians, most of whom 
will be less advanced than yourselves in politics, you will 
have the " Re netto." ' He replied that * nationality under an 
Italian sovereign would be worth having, even if they passed 
through a phase of absolute monarchy to gain it. If we 
could only get these foreigners out of Italy ! There is only 


one Kingr towards whom there is any loyalty. All save 
King Bomba and the Pope are Germans. We wish your 
court had not German leanings.' I asked if he did not 
suspect that the concessions now oflFered to the Lombardo- 
Venetians by the Archduke Maximilian came from King 
Leopold's and Prince Albert's advice P * Possibly so, for they 
are too enlightened to wish to see Italy governed as the 
Austrians would rule her, but still it is natural that yoiur 
Prince Albert should not wish to see the Germans driven 
out.' He added, * Palmerston when hard pressed by us to 
stand np for Italy on some point, coolly laid the blame on 
his court (!), saying, if I can have my way on important 
matters, I must yield in small ones, meaning by the latter 
the liberal cause or some point then under discussion, of 


I remarked, * If an English minister who can easily con- 
trol the court or resign, could be so unprincipled, why 
should you believe him ? I think him at heart a man who 
sympathises with your enemies, whereas the Prince Consort 
is by nature a liberal. Do you not think that Palmerston 
and Clarendon were as free to act in the Cagliari aflPair, as 
afterwards Lords Derby and Malmesbury? The German 
leanings alleged against our court did not interfere there, 
and yet you see which side they took.' 

To this Bezzi replied, * Well, it may be your aristocracy 
as much or more than the court ; all we Italians know is this, 
that hitherto all your diplomacy has been Austrian to the 
backbone in every part of Italy except Turin. Sir J. Hud- 
son alone has been true to us, a man of enlarged views and 
a good heart.' I told Bezzi how openly the French press 
avowed that the union of all Italy into a compact nation 
would diminish French power and influence, and although 
the French and Austrians may by their mutual jealousy 
preserve Sardinia independent, they would never allow a 
revolution which should consolidate Italy and make her free. 
So may it not be best for the Lombardo- Venetians to accept 
from the Coburgs such concessions as the two rival despot- 
isms would never grant? * My dear sir, it is all too late — 
the anti-German feeling has become a sentiment throughout 
the best heads and hearts in Italy.' He then told me that 

288 S//i CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiu 

Savoy was a source of political weakness to Sardinia, because 
thej did not speak Italian, and were superstitions. Thej 
refused to fnmisli one soldier for the Crimean war, because 
it was against their principles ! This was an act of rebel- 
lion, and some proposed to decimate them, but La Marmora 
said wisely that when a whole people (who are loyal to the 
King) were determined, you must wink at it, however awk- 
ward as a precedent. Even with Savoy they are only five 

Oenoa, — It is lucky I came on, as otherwise I should have 
had to have gone by land to Leghorn, and then by sea direct 
by a Tuscan boat, as I shall do now, after a delay perhaps of 
several days which I can well employ, not by a run to Pisa 
or Florence, but by regular business, having much to prepare 
in going over my notes made when with Waltershausen, and 
studying them with the two maps of Etna, and planning 
each day's journey. You well know that once at Naples or 
at Catania there will be no time for this. Instead of a 
night of suflfering I had my memory of the Alps refreshed, 
and even the least good of the Alpine passes exceeds all 
other scenery save Madeira, from which it is so different. 

Leghorn^ August 29, 1858. — We got here in about fourteen 
hours, in a small vessel only destined in ordinary times for 
La Spezzia. There was not much sea, and I scarcely suffered 
at all and slept most of the night, but numbers were ill, the 
small steamer rolled so much. I asked a young man whose 
appearance I took a fancy to, if he were English ; he said no, 
and that he could not talk English. We went on in French ; I 
saw he was German by his accent. I spoke out freely about 
the Neapolitan panic and ignorance (for Bezzi assures me it is 
not a political move) which has thrown the whole commercial 
world, French, English, and Italian, into confusion. He by 
no means dissented, but I saw both he and his wife smiled 
now and then, and he seemed a little cautious. Next day we 
had some more talk, and just now at the douane, I learnt 
that he was the reigning Duke of Saxe-Altenberg, travellin<^ 
under an assumed name with his wife and a suite, one of 
whom lately married, and with his young bride, a pleasing 
girl, spoke English and talked much with me. 

Ou reaching this about eight o'clock this morning, and 

1858. NAPLES. 289 

after getting through the douane, I found a splendid English 
three-mast steamer going to sail to-morrow straight for 
Naples, and not touching at Civita Vecchia. But the captain 
is waiting in no small trihulation for a telegraphic despatch 
which the Neapolitan consul expects to-morrow morning, 
and which may derange all his and my plans and those of 
many others — among them a very intelligent French agent 
of the Rothschilds who is in this hotel with me, and who 
haying gone to Marseilles was put into the Lazzaretto here 
for four days, much to his astonishment and annoyance. 
For the Tuscan Government was persuaded by the Neapo- 
litan, and the Pope, to put Leghorn into quarantine. But 
when this same Tuscan Government had learnt that Count 
Cavour^HN had ,^^gmdr positively to inflict a quarantine on 
Genoa, Tuscany took courage and immediately took oflF the 
nuisance here. But now comes the danger ; every one fears 
that in retaliation Naples may to-morrow morning put this 
port into the list of infected places, because she now 
trades freely with Genoa, &c. 

Cimta Vecchia: September 1, 1828. — It was rough and 
rolling weather when we started and many were ill, but I 
escaped, only went without eating till this morning when we 
got early to this port. I had a steady work at Leghorn, and 
was so rested after my march across the Alps that I can the 
better rough it in this steamer. The heat has not been 
oppressive, though of course the sun is powerful — yesterday 
it was cloudy. We have been five or six hours at Civita 
Vecchia, but I have not landed, as they talked of leaving 
sooner. It has enabled me to finish my notes on Mount 
Etna, and I shall now make a small list of essentials for 
Vesuvius, hoping to find Guiscardi at my service. I am told 
that September is thought a good month for Vesuvius, as 
later it is generally voted too cold. 

Port of Naples : September 2. — ^We came here in about 
twenty-six hours from Civita Vecchia, the first part rough 
for a steamer of this size, the last half calm. So I arrive in 
good plight. A boat has come from Ungaro's, but it may 
be hours before I can profit by it, as you know how long the 
police are here. Vesuvius is capped with clouds, so I cannot 


290 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxh. 

see how much vapour it is giving out of itself. No great 
heat as yet ; rather pleasant temperature in this bay. 

September 2, one o^ clock, — Here we are after all our precau- 
tions, and in spite of a telegraphic message from Naples to 
Leghorn promising free entrance, put into quarantine for 
one day, as we are told. I profit by my cabin being to my- 
self, and have a table in it with my books, and am working 
much as in Harley Street ; weather cloudy and cool. Vesu- 
vius nearly unrobed, and showing half way down between the 
summit and the base, or sea-coast, the new craters of 1857- 
58, smoking or fumeroling away. We are not to go to 
Nisita, but stay on board. 

Ungaro has come himself in a boat, and tells me my 
letter arrived yesterday, and he sent it to Guiscardi. An 
order came to go to Nisita, but the captain pretended he 
had no coals left, so we are glad to be left opposite Vesuvius. 
6 P.M. — Guiscardi has come in a boat, and had a long con- 
versation, and will go with me to the Solfatara to-morrow. 
Ehrenberg is at Naples, and going soon to Vesuvius. Scacchi, 
Palraieri, and the others got my abstracts of Etna. All 
describe the eruption of last spring as most magnificent from 
Naples. I hope to get a small picture of it. 

8 P.M. — We are lucky not to be in Nisita. One of the 
openings of April last is emitting a glowing light, sometimes 
brighter and then a dull red, rather lower than half way 
from the summit of the great cone. It gives us a good idea 
of the exact position of the last eruption, and of the wonder- 
ful escape the town below must have had. 

As there is no moon, the lights of the houses all round 
the bay look brilliant, and the lateral crater's glow is a very 
distinct feature on the opposite side. 

Naples: September 4, 18o8. — I have paid an early visit 
this morning to the Temple of Serapis, and have found the 
brackish water incrustation on the walls which Babbage 
speaks of, and which I missed last j'ear, and some points 
connected with it which I shall be glad to submit to 
Babbage for interpretation. I got back in time to attend a 
sitting of the Academy at eleven o'clock, when I saw Palmieri, 
who has given me a letter which I had requested from him 

1858. VESUVIUS. 291 

to admit me and Guiscardi to sleep in the Observatory on 

Yesterday we visited (Guiscardi and I) the crater of the 
Solfatara, which is full of interest. The hot vapours rush 
out with a sound such as reminded me of the descriptions of 
the Geysers of Iceland. The extent to which the trachyte is 
turned into clay by the gases is curious, and often the felspar 
crystals have disappeared and left their forms in cavities 
while the felspathic base remains undecomposed. 

To-morrow we go to St. Anastasia, to return at night to 
visit ravines or barrancos on the outer slope of Somma. 
Monday, to see the new mouth of April last, still in action, 
and sleep at the Observatory. Tuesday, Atrio del Cavallo 
and back. Wednesday, a great fete^ of which more anon. 
Thursday, sail by a steamer direct to Messina, only, as it is 
Sicilian, will they keep their promise ? 

Many of the very baths which used to cure devotees in 
the pagan days of the Temple of Serapis are restored by 
slight repairs, and this after so long a submergence under 
the sea ! I saw the hot spring there for the first time to- 

September 7. — Just returned from a successful expedition 
to Vesuvius, which in the last three days I have explored in 
a variety of ways, and understand much better than before. 
The first day was to visit a ravine which runs up from the 
town of Somma, and which shows the structure of the 
mountain to be just like that seen in the great escarpment 
in the Atrio, except that there are no dikes. 

Ehrenberg and Eammelsberg of Berlin were bent upon 
revisiting Vesuvius the next two days with us, and we offered 
them places in our carriage. We began with the Atrio. 
How glad I am you were there last year ! I hardly think 
you could have got into it over the new lava of this year. 
Horses out of the question, and the fatigue considerable ; no 
paths yet. A small cone stands in the Atrio just where we 
came down when we descended from the summit or great 
crater, and it sent a flood of lava over all the region which 
we crossed on horseback going from the Observatory. It 
flowed to the Fossa Vitrana. 

Other small cones were formed at the base of the great' 

V 2 

292 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxxil 

Vesuvian cone facing Naples, and though these are now 
dormant, and without even fnmeroles> there is a constant 
emission of liquid matter going on from some unseen point 
or points below, above which are large swellings of lava, or 
gibbosities, as Guiscardi names them. 

Palmieri believes that all the steam and gases are being 
let off by the great crater, which is sending out a grand body 
of vapour, forming in these sunny days bright and large 
fleecy clouds, while in every other direction there is only 
blue sky. He imagines that the lava is escaping from under 
one or both the gibbosities, without any steam or explosive 
gases, tranquilly welling out, and rising up through the mass 
of lavas. I walked in part, and was part of the way carried 
in a chair by four men, to a point where the lava was issuing 
from a small grotto, looking as fluid as water where it first 
issued, and moving at a pace which you would call rapid in 
a river. White hot at first, in a canal four or five feet broad, 
then red before it had got on a yard, then in a few feet 
beginning to be covered by a dark scum, which thickened 
fast and was carried along on the surface. You then saw 
this superficial scoriaceous covering forced by the curTv^nt 
into a number of crescent-shaped ropy curves, evidently 
caused by the greater rapidity of the motion of the central 
part of the stream as compared to the sides ; the ropes of 
scoriae farthest from the grotto were the most perfect and 
solid. You would at first wonder that when the outer and 
exposed portion of the fluid cools and congeals, it does not 
begin to sink, but it is a peculiarity of liquid lava, that if 
you throw a stone on it and press it down, it will not sink. 
So the plastic crust of scoriaceous matter generated a few 
yards from the grotto cohered a few feet farther on, and at a 
few yards farther was converted into those bent cables which 
you saw last year on the lava of 1867 in the Atrio. All this 
manufacture of ropy scorise takes place in a minute or two. 
I could have watched it for an hour, but the heat which it 
radiated was so scorching that I could only take a glance by 
the help of the men holding their coats before my eyes. 
When I took up my eye-glass it was so hot I let go, though 
it was really not heated enough to require that, 

I was exceedingly glad I undertook this excursion to the 

1858. MONTE SO MM A. 293 

top of the second gibbosity, from whicli Guiscardi rather dis- 
suaded me on account of the fatigue, but few who are not 
residents at Naples ever see lava run away rapidly. We had 
also a fine opportunity lower down of watching the slow 
progress of lava, and saw the manner in which a small 
narrow ridge is formed. Possibly those described by me in 
the Val del Bove of 1852 were made in the same way on a 
gigantic scale. The viscous mass moves on, swelling out 
occasionally, with pieces of scoriae rolling down in front and 
from the sides, which give way in such a manner as to 
undermine the top of the ridge, which continues solid, and 
by the undermining and falling away of both sides, acquire 
the shape of a sharp crest. 

In the escarpment of the Atrio I tried to find the broad- 
est of the ancient lavas, or a transverse section, showing how 
wide the widest of the old streams of Somma ever were. I 
could not get one above 200 feet, but this was only a rough 
measurement, and I hope Guiscardi will follow it up. If 
they are wider than one ever sees a stream on the flanks of 
the modem cone of Vesuvius, it may be used as an argument 
in favour of the upheaval theory, and therefore I was desirous 
of determining the point, which has been strangely neglected. 

We finished yesterday, after coming down from the Obser- 
vatory, with a drive all round more than half the outer 
circuit of Monte Somma, by St. Anastasia and the town of 
Somma to Ottajano, where we explored a ravine in which we 
were told there were dikes, but there are none ; nor have I 
yet found one in the barrancos which radiate from the crest 
of Somma. 

September 8. — I have had the Costas, father and son, 
to breakfast, dejeuner a la fourchette with tea and a bottle 
of Capri wine. The old man, after being three months in 
Calabria quite safe, was on his return knocked down by a 
common robber near Naples, and because he refused to give 
up his money, was stabbed in several places a few months 
ago. His purse was taken and he still shows in one eye the 
marks of the assassin, and is wounded in the leg, but full of 
spirit and energy. 

I have had three days of such exertion that, although 
quite well, I am as glad of this repose to-day (though I have 

294 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxii. 

to ticket innumerable specimens and pack my portmanteau), 
as the Neapolitans seem to be at the fete of the nativity of 
the Holy Virgin. The procession is to pass my window, 
which is on the first floor. 

Half -past three 6* clock, — For an hour and a half the troops 
have been passing my window ; cavalry, infantry, and 
artillery ; Neapolitans and the Swiss guard. The latter in 
red uniform like English. A fine-looking set of well-grown, 
and decidedly tall men. The numbers which have passed 
must be a great many thousands. Sometimes they went slow, 
but sometimes 800 infantry in one minute going as fast as 
they could. The cavalry managed 100 a minute trotting. 
Innumerable brass bands, which with drums seem to form 
nearly all the instrumental music ; a great mistake, I think. 
The troops, after filing one way, are now forming an unbroken 
line, often four men deep, on each side of the street. Many 
carriages and foot-people crowd the interval between the 
ranks, and how the procession is to pass I cannot imagine. 
Such a repetition of regiments, without a mixture of civilians 
and priests, becomes monotonous when continued for two 
hours. I have been wishing that Katharine and the two 
boys were in my room now with you, dearest. At intervals 
I have been ticketing my specimens, and have nearly 
finished. Four men-of-war, one a steamer, and decked out 
gaily with flags, twenty or thirty on each mast, opposite my 

Four o^cloch. — The cannon are firing to announce that 
the King has left his palace. The pavement is so covered 
with dust, that being never watered, it has caused some of 
the fine dressed troops to be a little dusty, and I see them 
wiping their coats. The cavalry raised clouds of dust when 
they moved fast. 

The four ships of war are firing salutes one after the other, 
quite shaking the houses, though they are far enough off for 
a long iiterval between the rolling out of the smoke and the 
sound reaching us. The line of hills of Posilipo return a 
splendid echo to the guns. No end to carriages and six, 
and now one with eight horses, in which are the King and 
Queen, and glass windows very large. The people so 
excluded now, that I cannot judge of his reception, but per- 

1858. GREAT FESTA. 295 

haps as it is the Virgin they are honouring, it is not a time 
for loyal demonstrations. The King is followed by some 
eight or ten six-horse carriages of state, with members 
of the royal family and ofl&eers of state, and several regi- 
ments of horse guards. We have now had three hours 
of a continuous military procession, and nothing else here 
at least. 

The people are now closing in, and filling the middle part 
of the street, and seem very merry, but, for Neapolitans, not 

Half-past five. — After an interlude at the tahle d^hote^ I 
return to my room, and find the fleet' as busy as before, firing 
salutes. The troops still lining the streets. Some English- 
men at dinner tell me that they never heard the people make 
any more demonstrations of loyalty on other occasions. The 
priests seem to have been all in the churches, but one priest 
accompanied every regiment except the six Swiss ones, who, 
being Protestant, have none with them. 

I am almost a prisoner, the streets being so lined with 
soldiery, and cannot help regretting that I never see Vesu- 
vius, as every hour of the day the phenomena there are 
changing. They tell me the number of troops who have 
passed this window is just 22,000, and as they are all passing 
a second time, besides 100 guns, you may fancy the time 
they take. The infantry are actually running, and the cavalry 
trotting. The King and all the twenty or more carriages of 
state are gone by again, and the ofiicers seem to be hurrying 
the men, who must be hungry enough. It is quite a curious 
sight to see the quick movement. All day opposite us have 
been thirty-two drummers and thirty trumpeters ; the former 
were allowed to overwhelm the others by their noise. Think 
of the cavalry having the old flint locks still. The Swiss at 
least have percussion guns. They have much higher pay, 
but are not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground ! 

This rapid retreat of the soldiers twenty-four deep across 
the street is a far more amusing sight than the outward 
march. We are now beginning the sixth hour of our unin- 
terrupted military procession. The band has moved off, but 
others are passing and playing. Every now and then there 
comes a jam of people and soldiers^ and a dead halt. The 

296 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxil 

Swiss are very conspicuous with their distinct costume, more 
than 6,000 TJngaro says. 

September 9, ten 6*clock. — I must leave this soon if I 
learn that the * Etna ' (steamer) is really true to her day and 
hour, which last is an unusual one, twelve o'clock. Gnis- 
cardi came to tell me last night that Vesuvins had given the 
required signs of sympathy with the two * gibbosities * of 
lava which I before described. I went out with him 
between eight and nine o'clock, and saw light at intervals 
distinctly reflected from the vapours overhanging the 
highest crater, showing that there is lava there also. We 
now agree with Palmieri that the eruption is going on in 
the great chimney, but the lava is escaping without steam 
from the two cones without craters, which are just below 
the windows of the Observatory. 

The lava was seen by us from the Observatory in the 
night, radiating in narrow streams from the upper part of 
the two flattened domes. 

Guiscardi thinks I have made great progress this time 
in striking out a theory to explain the connection of the 
pumiceous tuflFs of Monte Somma and the old lavas of 
the same mountain. If I have done so, it is partly because 
I had the means of taking expensive drives to distant points 
and back. Guiscardi had never reached Ottajano in his 
life. I have set him several supplementary observations 
to make, to complete points required by my theory. 

Messina : Septemher 10. — When I was concluding my last 
letter at Naples, Signor Scacchi came in and inquired after 
you, and we had an animated talk over what 1 had seen of 
Vesuvius during this last visit. We started at half-past 
three o'clock instead of twelve, and in place of bringing us 
direct to Messina, as promised in the advertisements, the 
* Etna,' an appropriate name for my steamer on this occasion, 
took us to Eeggio, and stayed two hours discharging cargo 
there, and then returned here, losing thus four hours of 
our time. So the post for delivery of letters was closed 
at twelve o'clock, and I must wait to see if ther« is one 
from Dr. Carlo Gemellaro to-morrow. After all we got 
here in twenty-two hours. No wind, but a roll from an 
old storm which made three-fourths of a large number of 

1858. MESSINA. 297 

passengers ill, Ibat I escaped and was much amused by the 
conversation. All Sicilians or Neapolitans; some officers 
and their families returning from the procession to Our 
Lady of Pietra Grotta, i.e. the grotto of Posilipo, near 
which there is a ohapel to which pilgrimages are made on 
September 8, and to which the royal devotee with his army 
go in state. There were also many priests and monks on 
their way back. A certain physician, young and lively, and 
known to many, was holding forth in our cabin, maintaining 
that the world of imagination and of ideas was the only 
thing real, true, and enduring, and all things material were 
fictions and a delusion, which of course he meant to provoke 
the others to combat. At last they came upon the ' Etna,' 
built last year in Glasgow, her machinery on quite a new 
construction, and having all her coal from Newcastle. They 
then appealed to Don Pietro, this learned * medico,' to 
explain why there was so much coal in England, on which 
he went off in a more stately and exalted style than usual. 
* The temperature of the English climate at a remote period 
in the history of our planet was t^n degrees above that now 
prevailing in Sicily. There flourished at that time the 
vegetation which produced these dense strata of coal. 
Those plants were before the creation of animals, for it was 
necessary to establish plants first. Then came the her- 
bivorous animals, afterwards the carnivorous, and lastly man 
was formed.' *But, Don Pietro, you seem to require ages 
without end for all this.' * Certainly, but it all admits of 
mathematical proof.' Some of the priests seemed intent on 
their breviaries, but perhaps they had one ear open to these 
new geological ideas, which have evidently been penetrating 
into those regions like Newcastle coal and Glasgow engines. 

Messina^ five 6*clock p.m., \Oth. — I have been a two hours' 
excursion up the course of a fiumara which runs from the 
hills here, with a pharmacien, Sequenza, and found two 
tertiary formations, Miocene and Pliocene, between the 
gneiss and the sea, — a very instructive section. 

Catania^ September 12. — After leaving my box of fossil 
leaves and rocks of Vesuvius at the British consul's, I went 
on board the * Diligente ' steamer at eight o'clock. The noise 
in the inn * Victoria ' so great, that 1 mean to try a new inn. 

298 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxii. 

the * Trinacria,' the rooms of which I inspected, kept by the 
former proprietor of the * Victoria,' and near it. The * Dili- 
gente ' had come pretty full from Palermo, and the Catanians 
and Sjracnsans who had been at the great festa at Naples 
crowded into her. My commissioner had got me a good bed, 
but too late for a private cabin, as they were all secured at 
Palermo. The ladies' room crammed with women and 
children. The berths in the gentlemen's quite open, one 
over the other, not bad but public. After all were full, in 
came 11 Barone and Baronessa, and two grown-up, lady-like 
daughters ; no beds. One capitano after another got out and 
pressed the ladies to lie down on theirs. But they posted 
themselves in chairs with their backs to my berth, so I at 
least was a prisoner. Then came other ladies and gentlemen, 
all without beds. At last all the men gave up their berths 
to ladies they knew, and stood about, then got beds put 
on the great table and all over the floor. They contrived to 
give us plenty of air, and most fortunately, though the sea 
had been rolling for three days, the straits were as calm as 
a lake. In seven hours' sail we were in Catania, and not 
very long in getting ashore. The proprietor of this hotel 
came himself to help. I went to bed and learnt that no 
butter or milk could be had. Why not the milk of goats ? 
^ Too late, and half-past seven o'clock ; you can only buy 
between five and seven. It is too hot to have the goats later.' 

I have been over the antiquities of Catania and examined 
some points in the lava of 1669 not seen last year, and had 
a talk with Gravina. The news came last night that 
Gemellaro's only daughter, aged thirty, the wife of a judge at 
Girgenti, was dead, leaving three children. 

Calling at Tornabene's, I asked him if I should not find that 
Dr. Aradas could tell me all about the Gemellaros, and 
whether Gaetano would have to set out for Girgenti, He 
replied, ^ I rather expect he will go, and you have no time to 
lose if you are determined to go to the Casa Inglese, and 
geologise the uppermost parts of the mountain. Go to- 
morrow ; I will write to Dr. Giuseppe this evening.' So I 
am off. 

Mr. Jeans has kindly lent me a beautiful hammock with 
which he has travelled all over Sicily, and a musquito net. 

1858. CATANIA. 299 

These creatures have been taking liberties with me again, 
after I had forgotten them since Leghorn. What a beauti- 
ful city this is, incomparably better built than Naples, some- 
thing splendid in the style ! One, Piazza Filippini, I had not 
seen, — all the columns from an old Basilica. The streets so 
wide, and the churches and private houses so often beautiful, 
and such a flood of light upon them. The elephant in the 
middle of the Piazza del Duomo is at this moment sur- 
rounded by a set of shrubs in full flower ; a yellow one like 
a cytisus, a large red oleander, and others with white and 
blue flowers — very gay. I passed the Albergo delF Etna^ 
and that everlasting chime and bells of the church adjoin- 
ing was making the usual stunning noise. 

Dr. Giuseppe Gemellaro has spent 16Z. since last year in 
repairing the Casa Inglese, so the Ql. I sent, with certain 
other subscriptions, will, I hope, cover this. 

We have never seen the top of Etna since my arrival here, 
though the weather at Catania is splendid. Good night, 
dearest ; just starting for Nicolosi. 

Zafarayia : September 15, 1858. — I am established here in 
my old quarters of nine months ago, and accompanied by 
Angelo, the guide of last year, who showed such resources in 
the Casa del Neve ; which I find on Waltershausen's map is 
called Casa del Vescovo, and known here also by the same 
name. I yesterday drove to Nicolosi, seeing several things 
of interest on the road in the geological way. Foimd Dr. 
Giuseppe in affliction, especially as he was haunted with the 
idea that this blow might be the death of his brother. The 
necessity of making plans and preparations for my expedition 
with Waltershausen's map before me, and of getting provi- 
sions and guides, cheered him up considerably, and I left him 
less dejected and very busy preparing for my campaign in the 
Casa Inglese. To go there now, as I had hoped to do, is 
impossible, the weather is so unsettled ; so I am to attack 
the middle heights of the Val del Bove first. The mornings 
are usually fine. I ascended the Monti Bossi yesterday 5 well 
worth doing, both for the crater and the scenery. 

On my way here, a ride of four and a half hours, I found 
a new case of a stony lava on a slope of 10® and 15** and 29% 
one of known date too, 1629, Also another lava with ridges 

300 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxii. 

cut open, throwing some light on those of 1852. Just after we 
got housed here, there came on a very heavy thunder shower 
which may interfere with this evening's work and derange 
plans. I find I can get on with talking with the guides 
tolerably, and the map is an amazing help. I have three 
mules, and a muleteer who goes on foot, making with the 
guides three men. Dr. Giuseppe approved of my taking Mr. 
Jeans' hammock for the Casa Inglese. He fears that the 
property of the Duke of Ferdinandina in the Casa Inglese 
has lapsed to those who have built and repaired it, being so 
long unclaimed by the proprietor. I went to the valley of 
Calanna and did some good work, but was driven back 
by a soaking rain, but employed the afternoon well with the 
parish priest, Sciuto, who let me copy his rough map of the 
course of the lavas of 1852-3, and make extracts from the 
journal he kept when the great eruption was going on for 
seven or eight months. 

Resolved that the weather was too unsettled for the upper 
regions, and that it is expedient to descend to the sea-side 

Aci : Friday y 17. — Early in the morning Angelo, the 
tall guide, came to tell me that before dawn they saw a 
planet, quite a new one, with a long streak of light extending 
from it in the east. So I suppose a fine comet has appeared. 
The ride from Zafarana to Aci Reale was through endless 
lavas. When I got here I re-examined the highly inclined 
stony lava of the Scolazzi, all as I described it, but of 
course I learnt many new facts. I then went in a boat to 
see the basaltic columns of the Grotte delle Palombe. A 
small Finga'j's cave, in a current of lava, where it enters the 
sea ; a fine mass of scoriae over the columns. 

Nicolosi. — The weather has changed for the better, and 
as we rode out of Aci Reale, the whole of Etna, summit and 
all, appeared free from a cloud. The shape of the summit 
much more divided than when you saw it. This sight made 
me determine to wheel round and come here, to go up to 
the Casa Inglese to-morrow. When the master of the 
* Aurora ' at Aci saw us return, he exclaimed, ' I thought the 
gentleman would think twice before he left Aci the very day 
of the Festa della Veigine ! ' In fact the band was playing 

1858. NICOLOSL 301 

in the streets as we went out, priests were assembling, and 
crowds of peasants in their best attire coming in to swell a 
population amounting, my guides say, to 30,000. But we 
rode resolutely through to the woody region, not sorry to be 
under a milder sun, though I have really never suffered from 
heat. I found Dr. Giuseppe quite prepared for my change 
of plan. He had sent up the bed this morning. 

Nicolosi : September 19. — The clouds again return, and I 
am going to Biancavilla and Bronte in place of the Casa 
Inglese. By choosing my time I shall succeed at last, but 
the first fortnight of this month was perfect, and that I 
should have had according to my original plan. 

Ever your very affectionate husband, 

Charles Lyell. 

302 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiil 


8EPTEMBEB 1868--OGTOBEB 1868. 



To Hi8 Wipe. 

Ademo: September 19, 1858. — My dearest Mary, — I mu&t 
have a chat with you before I go to bed after a long ride from 
seven to five p.m ; only off the mule when examining the 
basalts of Licodia and Biancavilla, often columnar and resting 
on a sandstone the age of which I have not yet made out. 
From Nieolosi to this place, through the woody region chiefly, 
was a fine lesson in the aspect of lavas of every age from 
one to eight centuries known, and for thousands of ante- 
cedent years of innumerable dates unsettled. I begin to have 
an eye for the coming on a new lava, where the difference 
would have escaped me one or two years ago. I had ex- 
pected to sleep to-night in the Casa Inglese, but it has been 
so enveloped in dense clouds all day that we did right in 

A procession is just passing, rather imposing ; first fifty 
Franciscan monks two by two, each with a sort of Chinese 
lantern lighted, and on a short pole, preceded by drums 
beating in the usual Sicilian style of military devotion. 
Then comes a gilt splendid carriage, in which a figure of the 
Virgin, well done in the waxwork style and as large as life, 
stands upright; then a full military band playing, with 
soldiers attending; then an immense crowd of peasants. 

1858. ETNA. 303 

There are also numerous banners preceding and at intervals, 
and fireworks and guns going off in the churches. 

I think I shall soon be a good campaigner. Not liking 
tea and coffee without milk, and being tired of hearing of 
the impossibility of getting it, I ordered Giuseppe to get a 
clean empty bottle and a good cork. When we had been 
riding eight hours we came to a flock of goats, and I asked 
the goatherd for how much he would let me fill the bottle. 
He said one carline and a half — that the milk was good but 
not plentiful, and I should have to milk a good many of the 
flock. So Giuseppe set to work, and it took near half an 
hour (while I was geologising a cavern in the basalt) to fill 
the bottle with excellent milk, which I have been enjoying 
to-night, and shall to-morrow. 

I never saw Etna look so grand as at four o'clock this 
afternoon. The cultivated region and the summit were 
in sunshine, and all the woody region concealed by a zone 
of fleecy clouds, above which it seemed marvellous to see a 
mountain. The sun was hot enough to make me hold an 
umbrella over my head, but this fatigue was relieved by an 
occasional cloud. 

Nicolosi : 20. — Returned to this once more, that I may 
either go on with the Val del Bove or the summit, while the 
heat which is a little more than pleasant below, remains to 
cheer us above. I see clearly that after five months of very 
fine weather the time is come for Etna to be rarely fine for 
two whole days. But I have the great advantage of being 
here one month earlier than when I encountered the snow- 
storm last year. Dr. Giuseppe was glad to see me, and I hoi>e 
my next date will be the Casa Inglese. The provisions are 
all prepared so far as I can see to them, but as I am to have 
daily communication with Nicolosi, I hope to repair omis- 
sions. As I have not of course tasted butter since I left 
Messina, my great point is to see to the milk. They take 
great care about wine, but cannot be brought to believe that 
coffee and tea require milk. Yet most of them think goats* 
milk better than that of cows. 

Casa Inglese: September 21. — Got off with two guides 
and two muleteers and four mules at half-past seven, in 
bright sunshine, from Nicolosi, and after a beautiful sunny 

304 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiil 

ridft of three hours through wooded craters, protected from 
the heat by my umbrella, was gradually enveloped in clouds. 
I saw a lava stream, where the oaks had been surrounded 
by lava which had taken the form both of upright and pro- 
strate trunks, surrounding them with tuflT, and the wood 
being burnt up they are now cylinders of scoriaceous lava; 
After a couple of hours we got above the clouds, when about 
8,000 feet high, but not till my hands were numbed, for I 
could not believe for a long time in the necessity of my put- 
ting on a cloak. After reaching this place I set out with 
Angelo for the top of Etna, leaving Giuseppe to cook. We 
had now and then a small driftins^ cloud, but on the whole 
splendid sunshine. I saw the spot at the foot of the great 
cone where the Cataniaus, as I mentioned in 1830, quarried 
ice from under a current of lava. My guide saw the same 
done six years ago, while the eruption of 1852 was going 
on in August and September ; the sand and lava ten feet 
thick, and four feet of ice below (once snow), and bottom not 
seen. When there is a scarcity of snow they send to this 
reservoir. Not far above the ice I warmed my hands at a 
fumerole, where the steam and some sulphuretted hydrogen 
were given ofiF at such a heat that I was obliged to be care- 
ful how far in I put my fingers. This welcome heat enabled 
me to write. The bank of clouds below us was such as 
aeronauts describe, finely lighted, some parts representing 
even plains, others alpine heights one beyond another, some 
nearer masses moving apparently much more rapidly than 
others. When we reached the edge of the crater, the whole 
of Sicily was hidden ex«*ept the higher part of Etna between 
us and the Montagnuoli. But Lipari and Stromboli stood 
out in the sea very conspicuously. 

I made a rough sketch of the two craters ; the smaller 
one has lately, I believe, fallen, and shows a section of some 
of the horizontal beds of lava with which it has been filled 
up nearly to the top. It seemed to me about 200 yards 
diameter and perhaps 160 yards deep, and the great crater, 
separated by a very narrow partition, vertical on one side 
and steeply sloping on the other, seemed three or four times 
as wide and deep. It was a considerable exertion climbing 
and going half round it, after a seven hours' ride, and this 



makes the Casa Inglese, wliich is the roughest place I was 
ever in, seem a hospitable mansion, as it saves onr return- 
ing. The wind is whistling round, and somewhat through 
it, but Dr. Giuseppe, I hear, has made it weather-tight. 
There is no chimney, and we have charcoal burners, but if 
the wind always blows like this, I am at any rate guaran- 
teed from asphyxia. I was determined to write to you before 
trying Mr. Jeans' hammock. The two guides have an 
adjoining room. Our m uleteer has taken back the mules, and 
I have offered him a reward if he brings me up milk to- 
morrow, which the others promised to obtain on the way, 
and failed. 

September 22. — Two experiments at once — this house, 
and a hammock to sleep in for the first time — was too much, 
for this house is the roughest I was ever in, since we cannot 
let in the light by the one window, which is without glass, 
without admitting a blast which in a minute annihilates an 
hour's warming of the charcoal apparatus. 

The well-swung hammock pitched like a cutter in a 
short sea when I got in and out, and rolled like our old 
friend the * Britannia ' steamer when I was restless, so that 
1 lay awake wondering whether I should be sea-sick, withal 
a smell of an occasional whiff of sulphur from the highest 
cone. Having come down from that cone hungry, I had 
eaten too heartily just before going to hammock, and this 
was perhaps the chief reason of a sleepless night, just as I 
have got to where the cold protects us from musquitos. I was 
glad when daybreak was announced, although accompanied 
by Giuseppe's anticipation of snow. The sun, however, con- 
quered, and I got a fair day's work, breaking ground on 
those enormous precipices below the flattened dome-shaped 
area, on which the principal cone with its two craters rises, 
and on which also this wretched remnant of the earthquake- 
ruined edifice which the English army built, stands. 

There were clouds below all day, but we were generally 
in sunshine. 

To-night I have been taking various measures against 
cold, for having tried with the guides to plan all manner of 
ways of exploring certain parts of Etna, without coming and 
staying here two or three days, we find it an unavoidable eviL 

VOL. n. X 

806 S/K CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiii. 

Everything one touches is like ice just now. The floor so 
uneven that a touch causes a chair to fall, and it is strewed 
with sand like the lavas which surround the volcano. 

September 23. — Before I was up, about dawn, the arrival 
of five English officers of Captain CliflTord's ship the * Centaur ' 
was announced. They had encountered rain in the night, 
and though they went to the summit, saw nothing but the 
rim of the crater. I was much pleased with their chief, the 
second Lieutenant de Kantzow, of Swedish origin he told 
me, at least the name, — well read in my works, and had 
tried hard, but in vain, on several occasions, to get near the 
lava of Vesuvius during the late eruption. The heat was 
too great. He thought me singularly lucky in what I saw, 
and I must remember this good fortune when I am disposed 
to abuse the quarantine regulations for causing me to have 
this strupfgle with the elements up here. However, I had a 
much better night, managing by dint of clothing to warn off 
the great enemy cold. 

The compact lava I found yesterday is one great reward 
for coming up here, as I can so easily refer to the place. It 
is perhaps my best case, and the Royal Society will let me 
add it with the new date. 

To-day I have explored the Montagnuoli, and feel sure it 
is a simple case of a double cone, the newer one thrown up 
in the common way. How Abich could think otherwise I 
wonder much. To-morrow I hope to descend into the Val 
del Bove. The mists to-day have interfered more than any 
previous one with my geologising. 

Casa Inglese : September 24. — Giuseppe, the son of the inn- 
keeper of Nicolosi, was amusingly put out by the roughness 
of the quarters here, where he had never slept before, and 
formed all sorts of schemes for enabling me to explore the 
precipices of the upper region of the Val del Bove without 
braving the rudeness and coldness of things up here. I 
think the guides' room the warmest and lightest of the two, 
and have therefore been sitting there nearly half the day with 
Angelo, who is alone here. For I sent Giuseppe round by 
Nicolosi to Zafaraiia, meaning him to bring the mules to 
the foot of the great precipice, weather permitting, and so to 
go on to my old quarters at Zafarana. 


But we had rain and snow whitening the ground, and 
ever since a regular Scotch mist, and instead of the grand 
scenery of this spot, you would fancy yourself in shooting 
quarters on some Highland moor. I have at any rate had a 
day of rest from fatigue, whether of body or mind. Got a 
good read of HoflFmann, and however dry he and hia editor 
Von Decken may be, the book interests one on the spot, as 
the rocks he describes in detail are what I have been collect- 
ing, and the places so many of them what I have seen or 
have to see. But the most useful part of the day's business 
has been the planning each day's excursion with mules till 
the day I must leave for Messina, availing myself of Angelo's 
local knowledge of distances, inns, and places and sights, and 
the power of mules. It is a most diflScult country, Etna, — 
especially the lavas so often interposing a barrier to mules, 
and an immense delay to men on foot. I have written all 
out, and allowed for some rainy days, and three or four in 
Catania. Angelo, a hardy peasant, is only diverted with 
Giuseppe's dismay, and it is amusing how little the educa- 
tion of the one makes up for the superior mother-wit of the 
other. In most of my future excursions I mean to dispense 
with Giuseppe and have a muleteer under Angelo, who gives 
me most information when alone with me. Lieutenant de 
Kantzow, to whom I had presented some milk for his tea, 
presented me with half a bottle of good brandy. It has 
done me good by spoonfuls, as the wine here is too acid for 
me. By putting on all my clothes double I have kept warm, 
and have often thought of Samuel Rogers' maxim, that a 
man who sufifers from cold must be a fool or a beggar. If 
it were some tropical volcano, how much more difficult to 
contend against the enemy ! 

26. — Yesterday I made the grand descent of the Baizo 
di Trifoglietto, 4,000 feet, and really without much difficulty, 
and in about three hours, spending a great deal of that time 
in observing the interesting fact, that in the middle of this 
cliff, the head of the Val del Bove, and just below the great 
cone, the strata are perfectly horizontal — a fact first made out 
by Waltiershausen and I think first explained by me. I had 
made up my mind that possibly Giuseppe, from want of 
courage or from taking a different view of the state of the 

X 2 

308 SIJ^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiii. 

weather, concluding I should not descend, might not bring 
the mules to the foot of the precipice. It turned out that 
he had come for me the day before, in spite of the bad 
weather, and had returned yesterday, but lost his way in the 
mist. So we found no one ; but after walking an hour and 
a half, I told Angelo to go to Zafarana, get the mules, and 
return to my rescue. There was time for all this before day- 
light was over. Angelo proposed to give one more loud 
halloo, which we gave, and were answered by splendid echoes 
from the surrounding vertical walls of the grand amphi- 
theatre. But Angelo was positive that there was more liian 
an echo. I could not believe it, though he turned out to be 
in the right, and after nearly an hour the lost Giuseppe 
found us, and I got to Zafarana between three and four, 
just 7,500 feet below my station of the morning — a most 
agreeable change of climate, bed, and all things. To-day I 
have come to Giarre, having re-examined on my way the 
Cava Grande case, of steeply inclined lava. 

I have had a long talk with Dr. Mercurio. He tells me 
there are two comets, but it is too cloudy to see them to- 
night. I was glad to be free to-day from that chattering 
Giuseppe. Angelo and Delfo the muleteer are now my 

Aci Reale : Stptemher 27. — I have satisfied myself that 
Don Carlo Gemellaro is right, and that the basaltic columns 
of the Grotte delle Palombe belong to a lava, which instead of 
l){»ing the oldest, is newer than all the currents of Aci Reale. 
I found a cliff 600 feet high or more, inclined at an angle of 
about 50°, and cascading over it reduced the slope to 28°. 
So that Waltersbausen is wi'ong in his view, suggested, I 
suspect, by the old superstition for which Von Buch has in 
part to answer, that columnar basalt is an older production 
than ordinary lava. 

Before leaving Giarre, I revisited the bed of the torrent 
where I found last year a current of columnar basalt 
reposing on the old alluviimi of Giarre, and shall be able 
to make the diagram given in my paper more exact and 

Oitania. — CaVed on the British consul, and had the 
happiness cf receiving two of your letters. . . . 

1858. Z A PARANA. 309 

Gasa Inglese^ Etna: October 1, 1858. — Here I am once 
more in these elevated quarters, about 10,000 feet above the 
sea, having fine weather, and having flattered myself that I 
shall get off with one night, making to-morrow the descent 
of the Montagnuoli, as I have already done the loftier but 
not equally precipitous height of the Giannicola. Yesterday 
morning I had appointed Gravina between seven and eight 
o'clock to start with me. The news came that Angelo, 
having out of his punctilious honesty preserved the fag end 
of a ham used in the last excursion, had been stopped by the 
police at the entrance of Catania (coming from Nicolosi), 
with the three mules. So I had to get Gravina to apply to 
the chief of the police, and while he was so employed got 
my breakfast and saved my character for punctuality. 

I had a good day's geology at Fasano, which you may 
remember on the road to Nicolosi, St. Paul, and Catera 
in that neighbourhood, Gaetano Gemellaro meeting us, and 
he and Gravina wanting my opinion on a geological point 
on which they had been contending. I forgot to mention 
that the day before Aradas had given me a list of 150 shells 
of that Newer Pliocene clay on which Etna rests. Nine-tenths 
of them agree with Mediterranean species ; but as he means 
to lend me the whole collection, which I hope to get Deshayes 
to overhaul, it will be a valuable addition to my paper, as 
giving a precise paleontological date to the volcano, the same 
in truth as I gave in 1828, which is satisfactory. In truth, 
the first twenty-five species of shells would generally give the 
result which 150 afterwards confirm. 

Zafarana. — I came down the heights under the Montag- 
nuoli, about 3,000 feet, without fatigue seeing the rocks on 
the way. It would take vreeks to study such countless dikes 
and lavas, but I read off not a few of the principal features. 

We were met at the foot of the hill as near the appointed 
time as could be expected, and I now feel that the most 
diflicult part of the task is accomplished, as I have verified 
the fact of the inclination of the lower, the horizontality of 
the middle, and the unconformable southern dip of the U2)per- 
most part of the great 3,000 and 4,000 feet high precipice, 

October 3. — 1 have accomplished a ride I always wished 
to make, and which Waltershausen, not haviAg knowledge 

310 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiil. 

or faith enougli in mules, believed I should never make out. 
I got from here ahnost without stirring from my saddle, up 
the external valley, one outside of the Val del Bove, called 
Cava Secen, and so ascended gradually till 1 reached the 
narrow rim or knife-edge which divides the Val del Bove 
from the outer slope. I wanted tc» see among other points 
whether the junction of this deep valley (of Tripodo) with 
the rim of the Caldera or Val del Bove was marked by a 
depression or notch, or what the Americans would call in 
reference to the Alleghanies ' a wind-gap,' for you probably 
remember there is not a single ' water-gap ' like the Barranco 
de las Angustias in Palma, allowing a river to pass out of the 
Val del Bove. It is strange that no one in Catania could 
lielp me as to this point, and yet there is not a more marked 
feature in the geography ot Etna than the deep indentation, 
narrow, and I should guess 800 feet deep, if not much more, 
which marks the situation and the unbroken rim of the 
water-shed between this Val di Tripodo and the Val del 
Bove, or a narrow ravine which descends inside into the 
great Caldera. My guide, perhaps the most experienced on 
Etna, never was there before. It is a most picturesque spot. 
On the one side is a deep Alpine style of valley, the rocks 
covered with old beech trees, on the other a look into the 
great gulf or cauldron-shaped amphitheatre, with Etna steam- 
ing away and the great range of precipices below it, and on 
the left, between the point of view and the Montagniiole, a 
series of five or six vast promontories one behind the other, 
about 3,000 feet high each, without a shrub, but pinnacled 
with dikes, some standing up fifty feet or more. The whole 
scene of the valley was shown in sunshine for half an hour, 
and the crater of Etna; then the clouds gathered rapidly, and 
thunder soon began, but we rode back in sunshine, soon 
escaping from the mists. 

Nothing amused me more than going to see what such a 
torrent as that of Tripodo did, when a very powerful lava 
current, such as that of 1792, has blocked up its mouth and 
drunk up all its waters. The lava cannot absorb its sand 
boulders and mud. So the torrent has been working away 
for eighty years, and has already filled up a lake-like cavity, 
and redeemed the space of a large field from the sterile 

1858. RANDAZZO. 311 

domain of the lava, and when it once gets its alluvium high 
enough to overtop the lava, the side of which has been 
probably thirty feet high, it will get on fast with iis 
fertilising soil, leaving occasional black ridges projecting 

Zafarana : October 4. — I got oflF by six o'clock this morn- 
ing, Etna and the whole region without a cloud, and secured 
six hours' good survey of the centre of the valley, and the 
craters and lava ot 1852, having now satisfied myself that 
Gaetano Gemellaro was quite out about the rock he still 
will call Musarna, and his uncle Giuseppe very wide indeed 
of the mark, in laying down his three points of eruption, 
and in some respects the direction of the lava. 

The views this morning were very fine. Just at twelve 
o'clock the first white speck of cloud appeared on Mont 
Zoccolaro, and it soon began to roil into the great valley, 
and filled it with mist in an hour. We rode down out of it 
and reached this soon after two o'clock in sunshine. I have 
now done what I intended of the higher and difficult region, 
and am now going round the base to see all the tertiary and 
secondary strata which peep out from below the ever encroach- 
ing envelope of lava. I hope by this means to be able to 
speculate on the nature of the pedestal of Pindar's * pillar of 
heaven.' I must take care of the mules now they are in the 
plains. I feel here, as in Madeira, that a good mule is like 
presenting an old geologist with a young pair of legs. They 
would mount up the side of any English stone quarry where 
a man can get, and you need not be merely taken to the 
quarry's mouth. 

The comet is most splendid on a moonless clear night in 
the north-west. I hardly think that that of 1811 was 
brighter, but the tail was much longer. 

Randazzo: October 6, 1858. — After leaving Giarre, I 
wanted to see a small outcrop of tertiary between Piedemonte 
and the sea, and not having found Dr. Mercurio was look- 
ing out for an informant, when I saw by the road-side an 
architect whom I employed last year to copy a map of the 
rivers coming from the Val del Bove which he had been 
employed to make by Waltershausen. He was one of the few 
men in Sicily who could exactly tell me where and how to go 

312 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiil 

to the i)oint with my mules. He was amused to see Walters- 
hausen's map. His name is Yincenzo. I spent a pleasant 
hour on a hill-side collecting old friends, Dentalinm elephan- 
tinum, Venus dysera^ Pecten jacohcBus^ Limopsisy Pecten variuSy 
and many others, the guides and muleteer also helping very 
well. We then went to Linguagrossa, bad quarters, but 
luckily Don Gallo of Giarre had set me up with provisions. 
At such places (and it is the same here) they are thankful if 
you want nothing but a bed. If you insist on the whole room 
you pay for two beds, only two carlines each ! The cone of 
Mojo which I passed to-day, the most northern dependency of 
Etna, reminded me of Tartaret by its situation in the middle 
of the river's ' thalweg,' and I find many remembrances of 
Auvergne now that I am on the borders of the volcanic and 
Eocene formations. 

I passed a good deal of heath {Calluna vulgaris) to-day 
on the lavas, and abundance of Cyclamen EuropcBus ; also a 
short-stalked purple mallow (I think), very handsome ; the 
yellow crocus large ; the Colchicum autumnale. A good deal 
of Euphorbiay like English, I think, but larger, and a second 
species ; and the * weebo * of Forfarshire, and * traveller's joy,' 
and hawkweeds and others, all almost entirely common 
British weeds, such as Euphrasia^ &c. 

Bronte : October 7. — Have had another fine day for sur- 
veying the northern and north-western side of the volcano. 
Saw the place where a crowd assembled in 1342 to see the 
lava flow into a great artificial reservoir of water. The 
melted current of stone came forward with a front thirty or 
more feet high, and falling suddenly into the water pro- 
duced for awhile no effect whatever, as if, like white, hot 
metal in Butigny's experiment, it required to cool down 
before it could cause explosion. At length it went oflF 
suddenly, and everybody but one or two, fifty or more in 
number, were killed, asphyxia it is said, for no wound was 
found on anybody. Had it not been for some heavy rain 
many hundreds would have been there. 

Vatarda. — I made out ray journey well yesterday even- 
ing, and cannot sufficiently congratulate myself that I 
should have been so many days for eight hours a day on 
mule-back on such roads and crags, and without the smallest 

1858. BOTANY OF ETNA. 813 

accident. The chief difBculty is the food, but I have leariit 
by degrees how to manage. 

I feel most thankful for the privilege I have had in 
going over and checking my own and Waltershausen's obser- 
vations previously to printing my paper, which will gain 
greatly in that kind of minute accuracy which is desirable 
when one's facts bear on controverted questions, with 
the disputing of which the amour propre and reputation 
of living authorities is most sensitively concerned, and I 
have had the pleasure of being greatly strengthened in my 
convictions. Your very affeciionate husband, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Mes. Bunbuey. 

Casa Inglese, Etna : October 1, 1858. 

My dearest Frances, — The cold in this habitation, about 
10,000 feet above the sea-level, is uncomfortable, but sleep- 
ing here, which I am doing for the fourth time, having re- 
turned to it a second time, is the only way of examining 
great precipices which are a key to the structure of Etna. I 
have found striking confirmatory examples of the fact that 
lavas form sheets of excessively compact rock on slopes of 
35% and they can form continuous stony masses at an angle 
of 40° without vesicles ! It is strange that this should have 
been denied on such scanty grounds. 

I should not think that Etna would afford a rich botan- 
ising ground in comparison with its size and height. The 
eruptions destroy plants, and the single ones which can live 
on loose sand, or can stand the barren lavas, such as broom 
and Hypericum^ and some others, monopolise large tracts. 
The Cyclamen EuropcBus is abundant, and like the Crocus (or 
Colchicum) autumnalisy very ornamental, and the yellow 
crocus, but that is rare. Also another purple flower which 
I must learn the name of — not English, I feel sure. Heer, 
when he decided that one of my fossil plants from the tufi:* 
was Fistaccia lentiscuSy said it was not in the floras of Etna 
which he had seen in print, but I saw it yesterday so 

314 ^//? CHARLES LYELL, chap, xxxiir. 

abundant that I cannot suppose it had all strayed from 

There are but few travellers here this year, so I am sorry 
two are coming up to sleep here to-night ; but they can have 
a separate room. I have not yet seen the comet, which you 
seem to have a good view of, but my guide announced it ten 
days ago ' as a new planet, one he had never observed 
before, with a streak of light proceeding from it,' — not a 
bad description for a most illiterate peasant. 

There is a great pleasure iii reiterating one's observations 
on one limited area like Etna, and considering the volcano 
in all its bearings and its age as proved paleontologically, 
its structure, the relative date of its valleys, and so on. 

In consequence of the death of Carlo Gemellaro's only 
daughter, I have got little help from him and his son this 
time, but others have aided, and I feel very independent 
with my guide of last year, who knows enough Italian to get 
on pretty well with me. My correspondence and talk has 
been so much in Italian, that had the Sicilian spoken the 
real language I should have made great progress. To hear 
my guides talk, you would suppose that the staple of Sicilian 
was " da banc,' which I am told means ' dall' altra parte,' but 
if it meant nothing more, it could not by any ingenuity be 
introduced so often. When they talk together I hardly 
catch a word, yet their newspapers are like those of Tuscany 
or Rome as to diction. 

The clouds have rather interfered with some of my work 
in the higher region, but all Etna has been clear to-day, and 
since I began this campaign I have only lost one day by 
rain, and that was when last up here on the summit. And 
yet when I came they had had five months of fine weather. 

Zafarana, — I have descended safely into the region of 
vines from 10,000 to 1,800 feet above the sea, and have 
studied another part of the great precipice on a fine day, 
and found all right ; but I must confess that the lower third 
out of 3,000 feet is such a wonderful instance that dikes 
have intruded in such numbers and of such thickness as to 
make the beds they invade seem to play a subordinate part, 
that other theorists may be expected to find facts to suit 
their doctrines. 

1858. VAL DEL BOVE. 315 

Zafarana : October 3. — 1 have told Mary of a ride which 
perhaps delighted me the more as it was one never recom- 
mended to me, and which I cannot find out from the guides 
anyone has been at, though of course Waltershausen got 
to the point when he made his map. It seemed to me the 
most beautiful scenery I had yet seen, the dividing ridge as 
sharp as the crater of Etna itself, between the great Val del 
Bove, which you look down into in its grandest part, and the 
Val di Tripodo, the only considerable valley which furrows 
the side of Etna, and which is well wooded, and contrasts 
finely with the savage scenery of the Val del Bove, now 
almost without a spot of green. I won't say it beats the 
north of Madeira, but no one has seen Etna who has not 
been there. 

October 4. — I have had another fine ride into the centre of 
the Val del Bove, to study the eflFects of the grand eruption 
of 1852. The two craters after rain still send out such 
volumes of steam that they look as if they were beginning 
a new eruption, but without such fuel they scarce give any 
signs of life. 

I must conclude this with my love to your husbcind, who 
will, I hope, tell me by the end of the month what he has 
been doing in his study in the way of fossil botany since I 
saw him. I little thought when I wrote to Sir Henry Bun- 
bury about the Casa Inglese, that I should ever see it again 
or sleep in it. The lawyers here say that they who built it, 
and have repaired it, have the property as squatters, and 
neither the Prince of Palermo nor bis assignees have any 
objection. But the singularity of the case is that no one 
can say who it is that has squatted there. 

The Gemellaros say the English army, others say the 
Gemellaro family, and so stands the case. Dr. Giuseppe, who 
has an income so small it would astonish an English apothe- 
cary, has spent 15Z, this year in repairs, and more than half 
out of the subscription I sent him. 

Believe me ever yours aflFectionately, 


316 SIJ^ CHARLES LYELU chap, xxxni. 

To His Sistee. 

Messina, Sicily: October 16, 1858. 

My dearest Sophy, — No excursion could have been more 
successful in a geological point of view than my re-^xamina- 
tion of Mount Etna, and the strong and sure-footed mules of 
that country gave me the power of scaling such heights as 
you climbed so successfully in Switzerland by means of the 
same power. The beautiful climate of autumn in this island 
makes up for much of the drawbacks in the way of bad and 
dirty inns, or rooms with beds where they do not profess to 
have inns. But nothing but a considerable scientific excite- 
ment could carry one through. I was often afraid I should 
not keep well where the diet was so strange. They cannot 
understand a man caring for milk and butter, but here at 
Messina I see these rarities again. Night after night I 
stopped with my guides and muleteer at large towns, with 
grand churches and priests and friars without end, and pro- 
cessions and tolling of church bells, and monasteries, as at 
Lingnagrossa, Randazzo, Piedemonte, Bronte, where there 
was not a single inn. You find at last a dirty hole where 
they show you one or two rooms, in which there are two or 
more beds, but nothing else, and before the white sheets are 
brought, they look like pieces of furniture less inviting to 
lie down upon than those lavas of Etna which are liberally 
sprinkled with volcanic sand. You then bargain that no one is 
to pass through your room and that no one is to sleep in any 
other bed in it. You accordingly pay for the other beds ; 
a mere trifle. You promise something extra for water and 
a towel, and send out your guide to try and buy something 
for food — bread and eggs at any rate, and you may have 
brought with you some tea, a i teapot, salt, sugar, and 
Bologna sausage. Sometimes you have a landlady who, 
having never seen an Englishman before, can scarcely be 
kept by lock or bolt from jurying into the room and watch- 
ing all your proceedings, to learn what you can want with 
basin, towels, and other articles, never I suppose asked for 
before. But the worst trial is the dirt of your own servants, 
guides, and muleteers, who during the ten days they are with 
you never wash or change raiment, if indeed they ever did 


before or after, but if you have fine weather and scenery in 
the daytime, and are laying in a store of scientific facts, and 
tired enough at night to be sure to slf^ep, and hungry enough 
to be glad of bread and eggs, and above all, if you have no 
one to blame but yourself when you feel you are in a scrape 
so far as fare and comfort are concerned, it is extraor- 
dinary how one comes through it all with health and 
spirits. I must say it oft^n did me good to think how much 
worse our officers fared in the Crimea, and under an Indian 
sun, to say nothing of being shot at to boot. I usually 
held my umbrella over my head five or six hours of the day, 
except when in the Casa Inglese, where we had snow and a 
difficult fight with the cold. I slept there four nights, and 
was glad when they were over, but they repaid me amply. 

I made some pleasant excursions from Catania with the 
geologists of that city, and am going to-day with a M. 
Sequauza of this place to explore a valley near the town, 
where we shall find a great many fossils, and have splendid 
views of Messina, the Straits, and deep blue sea, and oppo- 
site coast of Calabria. 

Believe me, my dearest Sophy, your affectionate brother, 

Chaeles Ltell. 

818 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiv. 




[He visited Holland, Paris, and Le Puy in the coiu'se of 1859, and 
in September presided over the Geological Section at the British 
Association, Aberdeen. 

In 1860 he was in Grermany, visiting Budolstadt and Cobnrg, and 
in the autumn went to the Oxford British Association. In these 
years he turned his attention especially to the antiquity of man.] 

To George Ticknor, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : February 10, 1859. 

My dear Ticknor, — I was glad to learn from Prescott's 
last letter, that Agassiz was stirring about a museum, and 
that at a meeting at James Lawrence's, the Governor had 
promised aid from the State. With the splendid bequest 
left by Mr. Grey, I hope something grand will come of this. 
There is no getting on without such collections. Sir Philip 
Egerton told me the other day, that he must go to Vienna 
to compare some fossil fish with the recent collection, so 
much more complete there than in London or Paris. I 
expect we shall have to go to Boston instead, if once Agassiz 
has free scope in that particular branch. 

I saw Mr. Harness (the Eev.) just now, who was re- 
marking to me that although Milman is very well, he is 


much more bent, and therefore older looking than ever, but 
he is in good spirits. These evening services in St. Paul's 
have given him much to arrange ; rather fatiguing, and 
some preachers inflict more than an hour. 

The Italians here have been annoyed at Mazzini for 
having expressed no sympathy at the alliance of Sardinia 
and France, and the promised aid, and they said to hii.i that 
if they could get help from the devil himself, they ought to 
jump at it. His answer was, * You will have the devil and 
the Austrians too.' My friend Dr. Falconer obtained on his 
way through Lyons a fine cast of a species of fossil Rhinoceros, 
which we have in the valley of the Thames also. At Naples 
the police voted it to be an infernal machine, and took it 
away. It was five weeks before (after much trouble) it was 
restored, but some MS. on osteological subjects in Falconer's 
not very legible handwriting, was submitted to certain 
priests, who still think it treason. I fear that when he gets 
to Palermo he will find the prisons full of newly arrested 
men of family. Afluirs there are much as in 1847-48. 

Charle? Murray is returned from Persia, and we are to 
meet him at dinner at Horner's on Monday. 

My three nephews and niece are quite well and in spirits, 
after their summer's illness. Susan Horner's translation of 
Colletta^ reads well, and has come out at an opportune 
moment, when so many are thinking of Italy. 

Owen has been reading a paper to prove how much 
nearer the Gorilla comes to man, osteologically, than does 
the Chimpanzee, but he seems not \o have more, if so much 
intelligence as the elephant ; so whether the Lamarckians will 
profit much by the fact I cannot foresee, though they may do 
so if the Negro is more like the Gorilla than the white man. 
I am rather suprised at the popularity of the doctrine of a 
chain of beings leading up to man. Agassiz is very fond of 
it, and strains a point for it, as do some others, while they 
protest against Lamarck's transmutation, but they are I 
suspect drifting towards the same goal without knowing it. 

Ever aflPectionately yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

* Iligtory of the Kingdom of Najfle*, by General Colletta. Translated by 
S. Horner. 

820 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiv. 

To George Ticknor, Esq. 

5B Harley Street, London : March 11, 1859. 

My dear Ticknor, — Mary is writing I find by to-day's 
post on a subject* which has been so much occupying our 
thoughts, as it has yours, and on which so much has already 
been well said and felt, on both sides of the Atlantic. 
Mr. Prescott's correspondence with Mary was so frequent, that 
we cannot see a mail come in from America without sorrow, 
to think that there can be no letter from him. I am sure 
there is no one of his friends to whom his death will be so 
great and permanent a loss as to you. The universality of 
the expression of grief and regret has not surprised me, but 
I have felt some consolation at the unusual amount of ability 
and eloquence, and upon the whole good taste, of the various 
speeches and biographical sketches extemporised on this 
occasion, especially in the United States. 

No impartial reader can peruse them without feeling 
that from such a soil an(1 in such an atmosphere great 
literary men must continue to spring up. In spite of the 
warning given by Prescott's attack a year ago, I was quite 
unprepared for his being taken away from us so soon. A 
letter which he wrote to me five days before his death was 
in his usual cheerful and sprightly tone. 

I have been amused at meeting and conversing with two 
notabilities since I last wrote to you, whose minds preserve 
remarkable vigour and liveliness at a great age. Lord Lynd- 
liurst eighty-seven and Brouf^ham eighty. The first I met at 
a dinner at the Palace. I had not seen him to talk with him 
for thirty years, when I passed several days in Trinity Hall, 
Cambridge, where Copley, the Attorney-General, was staying. 
He alluded to those days as 'jolly times,' and then ques- 
tioned me as to the latest geological discoveries respecting 
the antiquity of the human race. 1 told him among other 
things, of Horner's paper on ' Egypt,' proving that pottery 
was made there 13,000 years ago, and told him I would lend 
him the paper. On receiving it a few days later, he wrote 
to me to say that he had found out that Bunsen in some 

« The death of W. H. Prescott, the historian. 


paper just published had arrived at analogous results from 
different data and by another process; a discovery which 
amused me, for in that short interval he (Lord Lyndhurst) 
had been occupied in addressing the House of Lords on the 
removal of the Royal Academy to Burlington House, giving a 
sketch of their history, legal rights, &c. But though his 
mind is clear and lively, he can only get upstairs, or even go 
from the dining to the drawing-room, with the help of an 
attendant. It was pleasing to see the Queen paying the 
attention due to his years, and introducing the Princess 
Alice to him. 

Brougham is upright and strong on his legs, and amused 
me by almost confessing his sympathy with a new pamphlet 
on the * Reform Bill,' by John Austin, once as great a Radical 
as ever Harry Brougham was, and now as much of au 
alarmist as any Tory can be. We met him at Mihnan's, 
Lord Lansdowne was to have been there, but had to go to 
the Duchess of Cambridge instead. He is getting a little 
deafer, otherwise very well on the whole. We dine with him 
to-day. Lord Stanhope and the Bishop of London were at 
Milman's, and Lord Shelbume, the day we met Brougham, 
and they discussed the new Reform Bill very freely. The 
Bishop says that the artisans are so much more intelligent 
than the small tradesmen, that those of the former class who 
have any property would make a far better constituency than 
the tradesmen, to whom we are in danger of transferring 
so much power. I fully believe this, and think the scheme 
of votes for those who have 60i. in saving banks a good idea. 
Have you looked at MansePs * Bampton Lectures ' on the 
* Limits of Religious Thought ' i> There were many fruitless 
discussions among the dons of Oxford, how to force the 
young men by various pains and penalties to attend the 
University Church, which was nearly empty, but there were 
no precedents for such proceedings. At last some original 
thinker suggested, that possibly if they named some good 
preacher it might remedy the evil. So they made inquiries for 
some young men of ability, and found this Mansel, who forth- 
with filled St. Mary's to overflowing, and when the lectures 
were printed they soon reached a second edition. A friend 
of mine, Huxley, who will soon take rank as one of the first 
VOL. IL y 


, 822 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxr 

naturalists we have ever produced, begged me to read thes 
sermons as first rate, * althongh, regarding the author as 
Churchman, jou will probably compare him, as I did, to th 
drunken fellow in Hogarth's Contested Election, who is sawinj 
through the signpost of the other party's public-house, for 
getting that he is sitting at the outer end of it. But rea< 
them as a piece of clear and unanswerable reasoning.' Sooi 
after I had seen them, I was recommended by Sir Edwar< 
Ryan to read a powerful article in the last * National,' ii 
answer to Hansel, by Martineau ; and certainly it is wortl 
reading, and shows among other things, in an episode devote< 
to Butler's * Analogy,' how much more comfortable and con 
solatory is the system of creation, or the divine dispensation 
when viewed from a Unitarian than from an orthodox poin 
of view. At length, after expending much admiration am 
adulation on their new defender of the faith, the Oxonian 
have become alarmed, and Milman told me that one of then 
had written to Hampden * You are avenged ; ' while Dr. Jeun 
had exclaimed, * To think that I should have lived to hea 
Atheism preached from the University pulpit, and th 
member for Oxford recommend the worship of Jupiter ! ' 

You will understand, I daresay, the last hit better than me 
for I have not read Gladstone's Homeric lucubrations. 

I must conclude, as I have to go to Owen's lecture o: 
* Fish.' He assured us yesterday that every act of thoughl 
even in a reverie, is so far material that we are the worse fo 
it, and require reparation through the digestive organs 
There is something humt^ or a loss of oxygen, by every, eve: 
the slightest eflFort, of the brain in thinking. 

Ever aflFectionately yours, 

Chaeles Ltell. 

To Mrs. Bunbuey. 

Lcyden : April 22, 1859. 

My dearest Frances, — We have just returned from a: 
excursion to the sand dunes of Catwvk, at the mouth c 
the Rhine, collecting shells, star-fishes, spatangi, seaweeds 
and other treasures on the sands over which the waves wer 
rolling on a very bright day. We then visited the sluices b; 
which the water of the Rhine is let oflf at low tide, so as t< 


drain the inland country, and sever out a passage through 
the dunes which used to intercept the water of the river 
before Napoleon I. made these sluices; having cut a canal 
through the dunes. On the sand hills we gathered abundance 
of wild pansy, a small Myoffotis^ Stellariay groundsel, and a 
few other plants in flower. We saw in the gardens and 
suburbs of several villages on our way large patches of 
brilliant tulips, of all colours, arranged in groups. 

In the Museum here we saw parts of a crab called Inachus 
macrocheiruSy from Japan, which they calculate is eight feet 
long when entire. I had thought that the Devonian Crustacea, 
PterygotuSy &c. which they say were seven feet long, exceeded 
any of the creatures of these degenerate days, but one never 
sees a rich collection like this without being convinced how 
little one knows of the present inhabitants of the globe. 

I rather think it is thirty-six years since I was last in 
Holland. I am sure the Hague must have doubled at least 
in size and population. It is a very handsome city now. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Mbs. Horner. 

Aberdeen ;• September 15, 1869. 

Dearest Mamma, — As you asked me to write I will send 
a short letter, and send it to-day unless interrupted in this 
busy time. 

Dr. Fowler, at ninety-four, looks well enough, but having 
eaten turtle soup and melon too close to the rind, and other 
imprudences, is not quite well to-day. I went in the Pro- 
vost's carriage to dine at Banchory, to meet the Prince, Sir 
Eoderick Murchison, General and Mrs. Sabine, Sir David and 
Lady Brewster, Lord Rosse, Duke of Richmond, and several 
local managers of the Aberdeen meeting. I sat next General 
Sir Charles Grey, whom I always find agreeable. 

At the evening meeting I was on the platform next 
Lord Ashburton, who introduced himself, as he says he does 
to all his friends (since his return from the East with a 
board), as not a soul knows him. He is quite changed by it. 
The Prince's speech was well delivered. We shall send it 

* At the British Association. 
T 2 

824 S/Ii CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxiv. 

to you when we get it, perhaps to-day. In consequence of 
General Grey talking with me about the flint hatchets of 
Amiens, he for one determined to hear my opening address. 
I had thought it best not to ask the Prince to be there, lest it 
should interfere with other arrangements, though I had 
two talks with him at Banchory. But next morning 
Sabine came with a message that H.B.H. the President 
requested me to defer my opening speech till he could 
attend at twelve o'clock, so I got on Prof. Nichol firdt, on 
the * Geology of Aberdeenshire.* When the Pnnce came, 
the room, which had been gradually filling, must have 
contained about 800. The Prince, the evening before, had 
2,200, and many ladies had been refused tickets. 

Young Geikie * has read the best paper to my mind yet 
presented to our section, on the * Age of the various Trap Bocks 
of Scotland.* He finished by endeavouring to prove the 
top of Arthur's Seat to be tertiary ! Of the young men he is 
certainly the coming geologist and writer. I am glad Homer 
likes his book. I expect he will one day be a leader in the 
Ordnance Survey. 

My address, which I hope to send you to-morrow in the 
newspaper, will be a full answer to Horner's very natural 
suggestion about the Denise fossil man. We have talked 
with Symonds of Pendock (who was escorting a daughter 
of the late Hu<rh Miller,) with Sir Richard Griffith, Profs. 
Ramsay, Huxley, Harkness, Lord Monteagle, Mr. Vernon 
Harcourt, Prof. Phillips, Sir Philip Egerton, Sir James 
Clark, Dr. Allen Thomson, Dr. Gould, Sir William Jardine, 
Prof. Owen, Mr. Hopkins, &c. 

Sedgwick was to have dined at Banchory, and slept there, 
but wrote on the day to say he could not come, having a cold, 
but hoped to be here on Saturday. 

Sir James Clark wanted Mary to go to a ball at Balmoral 
on Monday, but she will stay with me, and perhaps go with 
the Clarks to the luncheon, to which I shall probably go at 
Balmoral on Thursday the 22nd. 

With love to all, ever afiectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

< Professor Archibald Geikie, Director of the Geological Survey of Scot- 

1859. * ORIGIN OF SPECIES J 825 

[After the meeting of the British Association at Aberdeen, Sir 
Charles Lyell asked Mr. Symonds to accompany him to Elgin to in- 
vestigate the history of the Elgin SaTidstones, which contained the 
fossil remains of the supposed Old Red reptile, Telerpeton. The late 
Sir William Jardine, Professor Harkness, and Lord £uniskillen also 
went with them. After many days' examination, Mr. Symonds came 
to the determination that the Telerpeton beds were New Red — not Old 
Red — and it turned out that he was right eventually.] 

To Charles Daewin, Esq. 

Drumkilbo, Meigle, Pertbshire : October 3, 1859. 

My dear Darwin, — I have just finished your volume,* and 
right glad I am that I did my best with Hooker to persuade 
you to publish it without waiting for a time which probably 
could never have arrived, though you lived to the age of a 
hundred, when you had prepared all your facts on which 
you ground so many grand generalisations. 

It is a splendid case of close reasoning and long sustained 
argument throughout so many pages, the condensation 
immense, too great perhaps for the uninitiated, but an 
effective and important preliminary statement, which will 
admit, even before your detailed proofs appear, of some 
occasional useful exemplifications, such as your pigeons and 
cirripedes, of which you make such excellent use. 

I mean that when, as I fully expect, a new edition is 
soon called for, you may here and there insert an actual case, 
to relieve the vast number of abstract propositions. So far 
as I am concerned, I am so well prepared to take your 
statements of facts for granted, that I do not think the 
pieces justijicatives when published will make much differ- 
ence, and I have long seen most clearly that if any con- 
cession is made, all that you claim in your concluding pages 
will follow. 

It is this which has made me so long hesitate, always 
feeling that the case ot Man and his I^es and of other 
animals, and that of plants, is one and the same, and that if 
a vera causa be admitted for one instant, of a purely 
unknown and imaginary one, such as the word * creation,* 
all tne consequences must follow. 

» On the Origin of Speoiei, 

C26 SIR CHARLES LYELJL chap, xxxiv. 

I fear I Lave not time to-day, as I am just leaving this 
place, to indulge in a variety of comments, and to say how 
much I was delighted with Oceanic Islands — Rudimentary 
Organs — Embryology — the Genealogical Key to the Natural 
System — Geographical Distribution; and if I went on I 
should be copying the heads of all your chapters. 

With my hearty congratulations to you on your great work. 
Believe me ever very affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To De. Joseph Hooker. 

London : November 13, 1859. 

My dear Hooker, — Your generalisations on species are 
worth more to me in proportion to the vast numbers of in- 
dividual forms and varieties with which you deal, and to the 
more extensive grasp which the botanist has already got of 
the earth's flora, than the zoologist has of the fauna. I 
therefore wish all the reasoning in the old New Zealand 
Essay, in the review of De CandoUe, Introduction to * Flora 
Indica,' and in your new book, could be given in one 8vo. 
•volume, referring for details to the Essays. 

Reviews, even when not anonymous, are so apt to be classed 
with ephemeral criticisms, in which the usually unknown 
and half responsible critic writes off-hand on the book he is 
treating of, that it is not the best channel for recording with 
a date the results you had then come to, after collecting 
personally a greater body of evidence than any other natu- 
ralist has brought to bear on a momentous question. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To His Sister. 

63 Harley Street, London: Noveml>er 15, 1859. 

My dearest Caroline,— I have to thank you for your kind 
present of a purse, which will be soon useful, as Mary says I 
wear mine out very fast. I wish you could have seen the 
boys romping for nearly five hours, and very well behaved, 
drinking my health at dinner without any mauvaise hontey 
and keeping every one alive. Lady Bell is wonderfully well. 

1859. BIRTHDAY PARTY. 327 

and danced in the Haymakers. From her to Rosamond ^ 
there was a capital gradation of ages. Next week we are to 
have the Hookers stayiug with us. He is finishing the 
printing of an Essay on the * Flora of Australia/ in which the 
great question of the mutability of species is treated of, and 
as he has for years been discussing this great problem with 
Charles Darwin, and goes nearly as far as he does, I long to 
read it before I have my say in the new edition of my 
Manual. Sir James Clark is rather better, but has suflFered 
much. He never missed a birthday dinner of the Prince of 
Wales before, and the Prince wrote him a very good letter on 
the occasion, very natural and kind. The Queen has also 
been very attentive and concerned about him. You should 
have seen Leonard introduce me to my table of presents. 
He was as good as an auctioneer. He pronounced a cup and 
saucer of Sevres manufacture, much to Lady BelPs amuse- 
ment, who was the donor, as decidedly the handsomest thing 
on the table ; praised Susan's travelling letter-case as most 
useful, and so of the rest, informing me who had sent each, 
which he got up for his own curiosity and my edificauion, 
and by no means to show off, for he was unconscious of the 
amusement he afforded the company. 

Believe me your affectionate brother, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To De. Joseph Hookee. 

53 Harley Street, London : December 19, 1859. 

My dear Hooker, — I have just finished the reading of 
your splendid Essay ^ on the * Origin of Species ' as illustrated 
by your wide botanical experience, and think it goes very far 
to raise the variety-making hypothesis to the rank of 
a theory, as accounting for the manner in which new species 
enter the world. Certainly De CandoUe's book was like the 
old doctrine of those who only called in spontaneous genera- 
tion for explaining those cases where they were unable to 
trace the origin to an egg or seed. Nevertheless the extent 
to which he granted nearly half of what he really believed 

' His young niece of three years old. 

' Introductory Essay to the Tasmanian Flora. 

828 5/Je CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxnr. 

to be trae species to have been deriyations in the waj of 
▼arietieSy was calculated to lead philosophical and logical 
minds to go the whole length of transmntation. 

I thought your way of putting it Tery dear, and the 
style luminous; the acknowledgment of Itobert Brown hand* 
Bomely done. 

The number of grand generalisations is really stupendous 
when one considers the Tast number of species to which they 
relate. Such as the excess of unstable orer stable forms ; 
the limitation of genera and orders owing to extinction, and 
of species by destruction of varieties ; the non-reversion to 
wild stocks, which struck me as very new and important ; 
the centripetal tendency of hybridisation, species being 
realities even under the new view. The equality of distribu- 
tion of the Acot-, Mono-, and Dicotyledons is very wonderful 
if the dicotyledonous Angiosperms are geologically so modem. 

The gymnogens ought, like the marsupial quadrupeds, to 
have kept some 0)ie country to themselves from the oolitic 
period in order to make the case of plants parallel to that of 
animals. Though it must be owned that we do not yet 
know whether in tertiary times there may not have been a 
rich placental fauDa in the Australian area. 

The first two notes of page vii. are very interesting, and 
show what grand speculations and results * the creation by 
variation ' is capable of suggesting, and one day of estab- 

The facts and views in page xvii. are wonderfully sug- 
gestive and grand, as in all about the glacial migrations. 
The geological chapter is only too short. 

I read your Essay when staying with the Van de Weyers, 
and he ordered it, and will I am sure appreciate it, in a way 
that few of our literary men can. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Charles Bunburt, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London : January 3, 1860. 

My dear Bunbury, — I am sorry to hear of your cold, and 
that you have not been able to get out these fine frosty days. 

i86a MOUNT LEBANON. 829 

You asked me whether anything new had turned up about 
the Bovey Tracey beds. The very day your letter reached me 
with this query, Pengelly came to town with a fresh store of 
specimens. Among these the Olyptostrohua Europwusy with 
fruit now, as well as innumerable leaves, was conspicuous. 
They have come upon another bed in which a large palm- 
like looking plant, sometiiues two or three feet long, and with 
a somewhat fan-shaped arrangement of the flabellaria-like 
leaves, abound, but I could find no point from which the 
leaves radiated, and we had no botanist to help us. We 
thought it most like one of Heer's plates of Manicaria. 
It is at any rate an outlandish form for Britain. 

Did I tell you of Hooker's ascent of Lebanon, 11,000 
feet high, and his finding, though now there is no perpetual 
snow there, old glacier moraines descending 4,000 feet down 
from the summit, of which he has made some very graphic 
sketches ? All the cedars of Lebanon grow exclusively on 
these moraines. 

Ever aflFectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Geokge Ticknoe, Esq. 

63 Harlej Street, London : January 9, 18G0. 

My dear Ticknor, — I have been so absorbed in prepara- 
tion for a new edition of my * Geology ' that I have really 
had no ideas to exchange, except on those matters which the 
initiated are discussing, or that question which my friend 
Charles Darwin's book has brought before the British read- 
ing public, both scientific, literary, and theological ; whether, 
as Dean Milman expresses it, LyeU and his friend have come 
fr^m tadpoles, against which the Dean, after reading the 
book on the * Origin of Species,* vehemently protests, saying 
that the production of such a book is in itself enough to re- 
fute the possibility of such an origin. 

Nevertheless it is easier to say and feel this, than to 
gainsay the continually increasing body of evidence to 
which 1 shall try to add some arguments not yet ad- 

Of all the small books of a readable kind which have 


come out in our time, you will find it, I expect, the one 
which takes the longest to read and digest. 

Milmau has been much overcome by che sudden death 
of Macaulay — ten years younger than himself. I wish be 
were not pall-bearer, as I think it is too much for him. 
The last time we met him, in July I think, Macaulay was 
in excellent spirits. It was at Lord Stanhope's. The Duke 
d'Aumale and Motley were there among others, and there 
was much talk about the true English origin of most Ameri- 
canisms. Lord Stanhope is also, I hear, to be a pall-bearer. 
I have heard nothing positive about the state of Macaulay's 
historical MS., but the general story runs that one volume at 
least is finished. 

I have been much occupied with another geological sub- 
ject, besides that which your niece, Ellen Twisleton, irrever- 
ently calls, the proving her to be first cousin to a turnip 
(a violet she should have said). I mean the antiquity of 
man as implied by the flint hatchets of Amiens, undoubtedly 
contemporaneous with the mammoth, and also the human 
skeletons of certain caves near Li6ge which I believe to be 
of corresponding age. I regard the Pyramids as things of 
yesterday in comparison of these relics. I obtained sixty- 
five recently dug up, and Sir George Grey, of the Cape, and 
formerly Governor of New Zealand, recognises among them 
spear-heads like those of Australia, and hatchets and instru- 
ments such as the Papuans use for digging up roots, all so 
like as to confirm the saying you used to quote, of * Mau 
being a creature of few tricks.* 

We hear that the open speaking out against the Govern- 
ment at Vienna forms a rema.rkable feature to the state of 
things before the war. The Concordat irritates the low- 
church party, the army complains that they were not well 
led in Italy, and the Hungarians are of course more discon- 
tented than the German population. 

Among the stories I hear is that when the two Emperors 
took a ride alone after the peace of Villafranca, they went 
to a rock where there is a famous echo, and Louis Napoleon 
called out Eugenie, to which the echo replied, * G^nie,' and he 
proposed to the Austrian to call out the name of his wife 
Elizabeth, to which the echo answered * B^te.* 


To return to Darwin's book, Twisleton, who has called 
since I wrote the above, being up here for Lord Macaulay's 
funeral, told me he had been much taken with the new theory, 
and stated some objections, and ended with asking me what 
I thought Agasslz would say to it, after he had nailed his 
colours to the mast in his recent work on * Classification.' 
Now I should like much if you will learn what Agassiz does 
think and say, and if he has already written anything, please 
send it to me. Asa Gray, among your scientific men of 
note, is, I think, the one who comes nearest in his opinions 
to Darwin. I confess that Agassiz's last work drove me far 
over into Darwin's camp, or the Lamarckian view, for when 
he attributed the original of every race of man to an inde- 
pendent starting point, or act of creation, and not satisfied 
with that, created whole * nations ' at a time, every indi- 
vidual out of * earth, air, and water ' as Hooker styles it, 
the miracles really became to me so much in the way of 
S. Antonio of Padua, or that Spanish saint whose name I 
forget, that I could not help thinking Lamarck must be 
right, for the rejection of his system led to such license in 
the cutting of knots. . . 

January 10. — Called this morning at Edward Eomilly's ; 
all talking of Macaulay's funeral. Edward Bomilly said he 
never heard Ma<;aulay say anything with humour in it. I 
told him he once, when we were talking of novels, said to 
me, * 1 suppose if you were ever to write one, you would 
make the lovers meet on the " millstone grit." ' E. Eomilly 
declared there was more humour in that than in all he had 
ever heard him say. As to my flint implements of the age 
of the mammoth, Macaulay was very clear I must be mis- 
taken. He said they must have got into the drift by some 

With love to Mrs. Ticknor and Anna, believe me afifeo- 
tionately yours, 

Ceables Ltell* 

832 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxn 

To Principal Dawsok. 

53 Harlej Street, London : May 16, 1860. 

My dear Dawson, — I ought to have thanked yon soone 
for your handsome present of ^ Archaia/ which I read throiigl 
with great interest. 

I thought some parts very eloquent, but you well know \ 

am one of those who despair of anyone being able \a 

reconcile the modern facts of geology and of many othai 

/ sciences with the old cosmogonies handed down to us by th< 

' unknown authors of the early chapters of Grenesis. A grea 

jart of your book, however, may be read with no small profi 
and pleasure, without reference to such matters, and I wai 
glad it was written before Darwin's book came out, au( 
after Agassiz. 

You have truly remarked that the latter, by referrinj 
varieties and races to separate creations, leads practically t< 
Lamarck's transmutations. Indeed the license in which, ii 
his work on ^ Classification,' he indulges in multiplying th< 
miracle of creation whenever he has the slightest difficult] 
j of making out how a bird or a fish could have migrated \a 

\ some distant point from its first or other habitat, preparer 

I many to embrace Darwin's and Lamarck's hypothesis. 

The argument that a plurality of original stocks, demanded 
by Agassiz, requires more than a sufficient cause, is un 
answerable. But Agassiz honestly felt that if he had t< 
allow that the Negro and the European came from one stock 
he should go more than half over to the transmutationistg 
This he candidly confessed in one of his reviews. 

Kenrick was the first I remember to argue that the ante 
diluvians who lived five hundred to one thousand years couh 
not have been of one species. Such a diflference in regard b 
longevity would far exceed the other peculiarities of th( 
Negro. If I believed (as I certainly do not) that any rac^ 
of the genus Homo ever differed from us as much, I shouL 
think that a good specific divergence could take place in i 
much shorter time than Darwin would deem possible. 

I by no means deny that progressive development may b 
inferred from the manner in which the mammalia increaa 

i86a ON EVOLUTION. 333 

and rise higher in grade as we trace them down to times 
nearer our own. Hugh Miller may have pushed it too far, 
and few allow enough for our ignorance of the ancient in- 
habitants of the land, yet there is no doubt much truth in 
the theory of advance, and you ought to have given Darwin 
credit for not having insisted more upon this class of facts. 
The truth is that what with occasional proofs of degradation 
of some types and of persistency without improvement in 
others, he did not feel justified in going as far as his orthodox 
opponents. He would otherwise have rejoiced in believing 
that the rise from the sponge to the cuttlefish, and thence 
through fish, reptile, and bird to marsupial had occurred, and 
from that to the intelligence of the Gyrencephala, and from 
the Chimpanzee to the Bushman, and at length to naked 
Britons, all by a law of creation ending with the development 
into an Anglo-Saxon. This successive evolution of sensation, 
instinct, intelligence, reason, which is such a popular creed 
with those who shrink from transmutation, is the direct way 
which leads to Lamarckianism — possibly the road of truth, 
but they who travel by it hardly I think, see the natural 
consequences or the goal to which they are approximating. 
I wish you had shown more appreciation in your review of 
the number of very distinct sets of phenomena of which 
Darwin's hypothesis (I claim no higher name for it) ofifers a 
solution, and for which no other scientific hypothesis hitherto 
advanced affords any. With limited variability, which is an 
arbitrary assumption after all, we can explain nothing, 

HiR tables of large and small genera will show you that 
it is only when you have thousands of species to deal with 
that you can strike an average, and what you say of Asters 
will, I think, be denied by botanists. 

Hooker's * Introduction to the Flora of Australia' will 
interest you much. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chaeles Ltell. 

To Miss HORNEE. 

London : June 22, 1860. 

Dearest Susan, — I have a promise that * the bust of the 
late Mrs. Jameson, by Gibson, B.A., shall be placed in the 

834 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxnr. 

corridors to be appropriated to memorial sculpture on the 
grounds of the Boyal Commission of 1851 at South Ken- 

Also, that if the place for it is not 6nished or ready, it 
shall provisionally be put into the room of sculpture. 

The Prince wishes, in this and other cases, tliat there 
should be inscribed on the pedestal, not only the nasGie, but 
some statement of the merits of the individual com- 
memorated, which he thinks too much neglected in our 
public statues, the people requiring instruction.* 

At first they will put all such statues and busts together 
as they accept them ; but eventually they will be classified, 
not according to «e«, but their * specialities,' as the French 
would say — historians, poets, artists, &c. 

He asked what division Mrs. Jameson would best come 
into. I said * hellen lettres, relating to the fine arts ; ' but 
that I would consult her friends. At any rate that will be for 
future arrangement. 

You may write to Gibson now. 

Yours afiectionately, 

Chaeles Ltell. 

To SiE Chaeles Bunbuet. 

63 Harley Street, London, W. : July 4, 1860. 

My dear Bunbury, — Baron Anca, a Sicilian, has just 
found in a cave near Palermo, or rather has just brought to 
Falconer, remains of the living Elephas Africanus in a fossil 
state, associated with the living African spotted hysena, and 
extinct El. antiqnus and Hippopotamus Siculus^ all from a 
cave near Palermo. He brought them to me in this room. 
They show that Sicily must have been united with Africa, 
and you perhaps remember that Admiral Smyth discovered 
that a shallow hundred fathom (?) bottom ran from Tunis to 
Sicily, while on each side of this submarine ridge there was 

• Miss Homer modelled a medallion of lior friend Mrs. Jameson's head 
from a cast taken after death, and this aided Mr. Gibson in making the marble 
bust at Rome which stands in Kensington Museum. The inscription on the 
pedestal was written by Miss Horner. 


very deep sea, a thousand fathom deep on the west side, and 
never yet fathomed on the east. 

Lord Ducie told me a year ago of a hippopotamus having 
been found in Malta, and the other day at Oxford he showed 
me a letter from Captain Spratt, giving an account of a cave 
in Malta in which he had found an elephant (fossil) and a 
gigantic mole. 

Both Anca and Falconer seem to believe that man was 
contemporaneous with this land connection of Africa and 

I was not able to attend the section of Zoology and 
Botany ^ (Henslow in the chair), when first Owen and Huxley, 
and on a later day the Bishop of Oxford and Huxley, had a 
spar, and on the latter occasion young Lubbock and Joseph 
Hooker declared their adhesion to Darwin's theory. 

Owen and Huxley discussed the osteological and cerebral 
distinction of Man and the higher Apes, Huxley contesting 
seven of Owen's propositions laid down in his lecture at 
Cambridge as untrue and unsound in fact. 

The Bishop of Oxford asked whether Huxley was related 
by his grandfather's or grandmother's side to an Ape. 
Huxley replied (I heard several varying versions of this 
shindy), *that if he had his choice of an ancestor, whether 
it should be an ape, or one who having received a scholastic 
education, should use his logic to mislead an untutored 
public, and should treat not with argument but with ridicule 
the facts and reasoning adduced in support of a grave and 
serious philosophical question, he would not hesitate for a 
moment to prefer the ape.* Many blamed Huxley for his 
irreverent freedom ; but still more of those I heard talk of it, 
and among them Falconer, assures me the Vice-Chancellor 
Jeune (a liberal) declared that the Bishop got no more than 
he deserved. The Bishop had been much applauded in the 
section, but before it was over the crowded section (numbers 
could not get in) were quite turned the other way, especially 
by Hooker. 

Mr. C. Moore interested me much in our section, by the 
result of a collector's feat which I never heard equalled. He 
carted away from a fissure near Bristol two tons of the 

* At the British Association at Oxford. 

336 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxnr. 

detritus of the triassic bone-bed which had been accniDtilated 
in the said upfilled rent. He had it conyejed to his honse 
twenty miles distant, took two years to examine it, and 
found in it forty-five thousand teeth of the genus Acrodusj 
counted by the pint measure innumerable other fish and 
reptiles' teeth and bones, many shells, and nineteen teeth, 
besides a few vertebrse, of Microlestes and two other mammalia 
genera of triassic age I 

I hope to hear soon that you are returning to your scien- 
tific reading and investigations, and that you will pay well 
for what we call * factorship * in Scotland, rather than let 
your valuable time be seriously absorbed by such superinten- 
dence and agency as can be purchased. 

My love to Frances, and believe me afiectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To the Eev. Charles Kingsley. 

53 Harloy Street, London : September 23, 1860. 

My dear Sir, — On my return from the Continent, I find 
here your excellent sermon on the Prayer for rain, sent to me 
I presume by your direction, and for which I return you many 
thanks. Two weeks ago, I happened to remark to a stranger 
who was sitting next me at a table dliotey at Rudolstadt in 
Tburingia, that I feared the rains must have been doing a 
gr«^at deal of mischief. He turned out to be a scientific 
man from Berlin, and replied, *I should think they were 
much needed to replenish the springs after three years of 

I immediately felt that I had made an idle and thought - 
less speech. Some thirty years ago I was told at Bonn of 
two processions of peasants who had climbed to the top of 
tho Petersber;^:, one composed of vine dressers, who were 
intending to return thanks for sunshine and pray for its 
continuance, the others from a corn district, wanting the 
drought to cease and rain to fall. Each were eager to get 
possession of the shriTie of St. Peter's chapel before the other 
to secure the saint's good offices, so they came to blows with 
fists and sticks, much to the anuisement of the Protestant, 
heretics at Bonn, who I hope did not by such prayers as you 


allude to commit the same solecism occasionally, only less 
coarsely carried out into action. 

Have you read Freeman Clarke on * Prayer ' (Boston, United 
States), who states more fairly than any author I have read 
the philosophical difficulty, and, though he cannot clear it 
away, treats the subject more ably than perhaps anyone has 
done yet ? Horace Bushnell, on * Nature and the Supernatural * 
(1859, New York), has also some splendid chapters on the 
relation of God's free will to the immutable laws of Nature, 
but the book is very unequal. I hope we shall have the 
pleasure of seeing you when you are next in town. 

Believe me ever truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To the Eev. W. S. Symonds. 

London : October 1, 1860. 

My dear Symonds, — I should have written to you a day 
or two ago had I not been somewhat overwhelmed on my 
return with arrears of correspondence, and until I had seen 
Dr. Falconer and learnt whether he and Prestwich had made 
as much progress as I had hoped on the great question at 
issue about the relations of certain elephant beds and the 
glacial epoch. I am disappointed at finding matters so much 
where they were, here at least, for I hope I see my way 
rather more clearly in reference to Picardy, Belgium, and the 
Rhine, where I have been examining both into the question 
of the antiquity of man, and that of the supposed return 
of a warmer climate than we have now, after the era of glacial 

Some of the evidence relied on for the latter opinion, such 
as the ElepJuis Africanvs in modern drift, has decidedly given 

My idea of going to South Wales, and taking your 
district on my way, and getting the benefit of your co-opera- 
tion, was dependent on some progress having first been made 
by Prestwich, Falconer, and Colonel Wood in regard to the age 
of the South Wales caves, with not only Elephds primigenius^ 
Bhinoceros tichorhiruis^ but also some of them with the other 
elephants and rhinoceroses {E. antiquusj and 22. leptorhimu^ 

VOL. u. z 

838 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxi 

now called by Falconer B. hemitwehwt), the agfe of thei 
relatively to the glaciers, glaciation, and submergence of Norl 
Wales, and the deposition of the northern drift. Interestin 
as this question is, it is only one of many which I have to g 
into, such as the new discoveries of human remains coev] 
with mammoth, Darwin's theory of species, which affecl 
certain passages even of the * Manual,' and I know not ho 
many other matters which in my travels of the last five year 
since the last edition was published, have accumulated upo 
me, and on which I have to pronounce some opinion. I mus 
therefore stay in town and unpack my boxes, and only than 
you heartily for your kind invitation, for which my wife als 
desires me to send her thanks to you and Mrs. Symonds. 

Ever sincerely yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Principal Dawson, Montreal. 

London: October 27, I860. 

My dear Dawson, — I received a letter a few ddys ag 
from Sir Charles Bunbury, in which he called my attentio 
to your paper in the February 1859 No. of our Journa! 
as * admirable and of great importance, one of the mos 
material additions to our knowledge of vegetable structure 
in coal that we have had for a long time.' Although 
had been much struck with it when it was first read, 
had not fully appreciated it till I reperused it in print. Th 

doctrine of the mineral charcoal having been formed b 


plants decaying in the air is a grand step, and seems to ni 
very unanswerable. What you say also of the Sigillaric 
and Calamites, and their not having been of lax and soft tissue: 
but of slow growth, is most interesting ; also the numbe: 
of generations of Sigillariai in one foot of coal. In short tin 
whole paptT teems with grand results, and makes us wisl 
for your continuation in giving us the history of the othe: 
seventy-six successive coal-beds of the South Joggins. 

Another Stereognathus oolitirvs jaw has turned up in tin 
Stonesfield slate. An animal about the size of a hedgehog 
but I fear we shall learn nothing new from it. 

Falconer has made out clearly the former existence oj 


a small elephant, the size of a Shetland pony, in the 
small island of Malta. They have also found a hippopo- 
tamus there, and a gigantic dormouse the size of a rat, 
but I fear Falconer's having to go to Sicily for his health 
will prevent our having a printed announcement of these 

The African elephant, living species, has turned up in 
the Sicilian caves, together with the existing Cape hyaena 
{H. crocuta I think it is called), showing the comparatively 
recent land-connection of Sicily and the African continent, 
between which there is a very shallow sea 200 or 300 feet 

I abandon the Old Red reptile, which will gratify the 
progressionists, some of whom still feel inclined to adhere 
to it. The Telerpeton I mean. If Darwin's theory is 
ever established, it will be by the facts and arguments of 
the progressionists such as Agassiz, whose development 
doctrines go three parts of the way, though they don't seem 
to see it. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To His Sistee. 

53 Harley Street, London : November 15, 1860. 

My dearest Marianne, — I have to thank you for a letter 
and your good wishes on my birthday, and those of the rest 
of the family north of the Tweed. Our party * went off very 
pleasantly, as it was sure to do, for we had no one here 
that we did not like, and scarcely any one of whom I may not 
say that we were fond, from Rosamond upwards to grandpapa, 
and Sir Edward Ryan. The impromptu charade of the 
Catacombs was most entertaining, and the final scene espe- 
cially. The children, who all acted, were wide awake to the 
last. I wish you and all of you could have seen them, and 
the party. 

Our new picture, which Susan got for us at Dresden,^ 
and of which I presume you heard, was much admired. 

* On his birthday. 

' A copy of the Madonna di San Sisto. 

1 2 

3 to Slli CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxn 

Both Gibson the scalptor and Boxall the painter admire i 
as a copy exceedingly. 

The other day Mr. WoUaston, the entomologist, told m< 
that he had just received some insects, Coleoptera, from St 
Helena. Not only the species but the genera so entirelj 
diflFerent from all the rest of the world. He said, when w€ 
were talking of the extinctions fast going on, that the large 
Copper, Lycwnu dispar^ is believed to be fairly blotted out of 
creation. It was only British, and you saw what they had 
done to Whittlesea Mere. I hope our specimens are in 
good preservation, for what with their beauty and rarity, 
they are getting up to a fabulous price, which shows how 
they are valued. I am sorry I did not find time when last 
at Drumkilbo to go over the Coleoptera and Lepidoptera at 
least. Some of the St. Helena CurculionidsQ seem to be the 
most abnormal types. 

I have just got Bunsen's * Egypt's Place in Universal 
History ' from Mudie's, and am much interested in it. Max 
Milller's Essay on ' Comparative Mythology ' in the Oxford 
Essays for 1856 is a splendid article. 

It was like old times again to meet the Heads ' at the 
Milmans', but the loss of their son makes a great blank. 
There was no young man of all my acquaintance as able and 
enthusiastic as a geologist. The Heads will return in Feb- 
ruary to Canada, but I hope for no long time. Joseph 
Hooker is expected this week to return from Syria. Faraday 
was calling here to-day, to explain why he could not romp 
with the boys as he did last year. He is very well, and 
going to lecture at Christmas, and Leonard is to hear him. 
With love to all. 

Believe me affectionately yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To George Ticknor, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London November 29, ISGO. 

My dear Ticknor, — I was glad to get the news in Mrs. 
Ticknor's last letter of the opening of the Museum and of 
Agassiz's doings. I fully expect it will soon be a model 

* Sir Edmund Head, Governor- General of Canada, and Lady Head. 

1 86a ANTIQUITY OF MAN. 341 

collection. I shall be curious to see a second reply of 
Agassiz to Darwin, which I understand is coming. Murray 
has sold all that remained, and more, of my friend's * Origin 
of Species ; ' 4,250 copies printed, and only oat about a year, 
and he must now prepare a new edition. 

Whatever faith we may settle down into, opinions can 
never go back exactly to what they were before Darwin came 
out. The Oxford Professor of Geology, J. Phillips, has 
fought Darwin by citing me in pages out of my * Principles,* 
but I must modify what I said in a new edition. Agassiz 
helped Darwin and the Lamarckians by going so far in his 
* Classification,' not hesitating to call in the creative power to 
make new species out of nothing whenever the slightest 
difficulty occurs of making out how a variety got to some 
distant part of the globe. Asa Gray's articles, all of which ' 
I have procured, appear to me the ablest, and on the whole 
grappling with the subject, both as a naturalist and meta- 
physician, better than anyone else on either side of the 

I have been very busy with the proofs afforded by the 
flint implements found in the drift of the valley of the 
Somme at Amiens and Abbeville, and more recently in the 
valley of the Seine at Paris, of the high antiquity of man. 
That the human race goes back to the time of the mammoth 
and rhinoceros (Siberian) and not a few other extinct mam- 
malia is perfectly clear, and when the physical geography 
was different — I presume when England was joined to 

This will give time for the formation of many races from 
one, and enable us to dispense with the separate creation of 
several distinct starting-points, to make up for unorthodox 
conclusions about * preadamite man,' of which I see some 
writers are freely talking. How are you getting on with 
your * Life of Prescott ' ? faster I hope than I am with my new 
edition of my * Geology.' I am afraid there is no chance of 
Baron Bunsen's recovery; but when we saw him two months 
ago he was full of vigour and animation. His date of 10,000 
years b.o. for Noah's flood must astonish some of the 
orthodox in Boston. This reminds me of Max Miiller's 
Essay on * Comparative Mythology ' in the Oxford Essays for 

342 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxxiv. 

1856, whicli appears to me in the philological part very 
excellent. The argument for the existence of some aborigine 
language, whether it be called Arian or by any other name, 
seems conclusive, and it must go a far way back, as they 
branched ofiP into such distant and ancient nations. Bun- 
sen's testimony that there is no tradition of the Arian 
deluge in Egyptian history and mythology is striking. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

November 30. — The newspaper to-day brings the news of 
Bunsen's death. I was not prepared for it so soon. He was 
so beloved by his family, that it will be a gi*eat blow. 



APBIL 1861 — DEOEMBEB 1862. 


[Various offers of a flattering kind were made to him at different 
times to accept offices ; a Trusteeship of the British Museum, Presi- 
dent of the Royal Society, <kc. : and during the year 1861, under the 
proposed Keform Bill for a representative in Parliament for the 
University of London, the candidature was offered to Sir Charles 
Lyell. But he declined all, and resolved that he would devote himself 
to the end of his life to his favourite science, which was daily open- 
ing up more interesting matter for study and research. The first 
symptoms of ill-health declared themselves in this year, and he was 
advised to spend some weeks in Kissingen in Bavaria, whither he 
went in June, accompanied by his wife and nephew. 

In January 1862 he was elected Corresponding Member of the 
Institute of France. This year was saddened by the death of his 
wife's mother at Florence, whither he and Lady Lyell went in May, 
and later in the year they visited various places on the south coast of 

In 1863 he visited the Caves of Li6ge and Maestricht, and in the 
autumn made a tour in Wales, aocompanied by the Bev. W. S. 

The * Antiquity of Man ' was published in February of this year. 
An order of scientific merit was conferred on him by the King of 
Prussia, the present Emperor. The order was instituted by the 
former King (Frederick William lY.) and Alexander von Humboldt 
was its first chancellor.] 

344 S//i CHARLES LYELL. chap. xjxf. 

To Sib Charles Buxbubt. 

London : April 26, 186L 

My dear Banburj, — I am laid up for a day or two aiter 
an excursion to Bedford with Prestwich and Evans, to see a 
section where a Mr. Wyatt, editor of the Bedford provincial 
newspaper, has just found two fine hatchets of the trae 
Amiens and Hoxne type. They occurred in working* a gravel 
pit at BedJingham, which I visited more than thirty years 
ago, when I stayed with Admiral Smyth, then residing at 
Bedford. That pai"t of the pit, twenty-five feet deep and of 
large extent, which I then explored, is a wood of tall larches 
which have grown fast and do credit to the interval. 

As the hatchets occurred at the bottom of the old flavia- 
tile gravel which contains Cyclas, Lymnsea, Helix, &c., of 
recent species, they prove that man was in the country before 
any mammalia of which the bones are buried in said gravel. 
I saw a specimen of Elephas nntiquvs found in the town of 
Bedford at the same level as the E. primi^eniiis of Bedding- 
ham. At the latter place is also the tiuhorhine rhinoceros. I 
was assured that the hippopotamus major was also found in 
another locality; but I will not answer for that, but am pre- 
pared for anything after my last visit to Paris and revisit to 
Abbeville. For I am now prepared to believe that all the 
animals above mentioned were in the country after man, and 
by digging a pit myself at Abbeville, I obtained five imple- 
ments below a fluvio-marine bed containing the Cyre^ui JlumU 
nalis, alias C, con^ohrituL of the Nile. The relation of man 
to the close of the glacial period is a point on which I have 
not yet made up my mind, but I suspect those beds in 
France may have begun before the northern drift of England 
was finished. The late discoveries at Heme Baj' and 
Reculvers convince me that man inhabited England when 
the Thames was a tributary of the Rhine. 

But enough of these very modern affairs. What you tell 
me of those plants of more respectable antiquity, and of 
Lesquereux's observations,' interest me much. I am surprised 

* On the Coal-plants of Pennsylvania. 

i86i. DECLINES BEING MJ>. 3t5 

that he can make oat, even by the omission of some con- 
spicuous plants, any kind of resemblance between the 
American swamps and European peat mosses, except by 
going very far north in the Transatlantic Continent. No 
doubt all the coal-plan fcs of Europe and America have been 
formed in very analogous habitations. Dawson tells me that 
he has found such a number of diflFerent species of Trigono- 
carpum in that part of the Nova Scotia coal, where there is 
a similar abundance and variety of Sigillaria, and where 
ConifersB are scarce, and has found so many Trigonocarpa in 
hollow Sigillariae, that he is half inclined to guess that said 
Iruits belong to said genus. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To His Brothee. 

53 Harley Street, London : April 23, 1861. 

My dear Tom, — Under the new or proposed Reform Bill, 
the University of London, with a constituency of about 700, 
is to have a member, and a strong party, wishing to 
have a new literary or scientific element introduced into 
the House, as representing academical interests, offered to 
bring forward Mr. Qrote, formerly M.P., but being now im- 
mersed in finishing his * History of Greece,' he declined 
about a fortnight ago, and they then offered it to me. 

I was obliged to consider the affair just as if the Bill 
was carried, and as if (which I really believe) the committee 
could carry me. I declined, though there is no place in 
the House I would so soon hold ; an I as the party who made 
the offer are by no means the extreme Liberals, I should 
have fully sympathised in their political as well as educational 
views. But my happiness is in carrying on my Geology, and 
I believe I shall do more good in that line, as I have on 
hand years of unpublished travels, and reading, and thinking. 
There is a great demand for a new edition of the * Manual,' 
now out of print, and the ninth edition of the * Principles ' 
(5,000 copies) nearly exhausted. I have also a new book 
on the stocks. 

We don't talk of the overture, as I would not cheapen 


the honour. After all, will Lord John carry his Bill P Thejr 
(the TTniversity of Edinburgh) offered me a degree at Loid 
Brougham's installation, but I grudged being absent fiT6 
days from town, but was half sorry to refuse to go. Here 
is enough about myself in all conscience. 

Believe me your affectionate brother, 


To His Sister. 

Frankfort : June 17, 1S61. 

My dearest Eleanor, — ^We were talking of you yesterday 
when we stopped at the railway station at Kreutasnach, and 
wishing you were there again, and in as fine weather as we 
have been having ever since we left England. Leonard and I 
have been making out the geology as we flew along over the 
Low Countries, and then spent two days among the limestone 
caves of the Meuse at Dinant above Namur» and then through 
the forest of Ardennes, which still deserves that name 
between Nam or and Luxembourg. I went from the last 
place to Saarbruck to see the finest collection of plants of 
the coal which perhaps exists in Germany, and the finest of 
insects of the same early period, chiefly fossil blatke and 
termites (cockroaches and white ants), of which the Professor 
has collected more than thirty individuals. I liked the look 
of Kreutznach. Did any of you ever take a trip to Oberstein 
to see the agates there ? I should like to have stopped a 
day there. We are to go for at least a three weeks* stay 
to Kissingen. 

With love, ever your affectionate brother, 

Charles Ltell. 

To the Duke op Aegyll. 

63 Harley Street, London : July 9, 1861. 

My dear Duke of Argyll, — I write to say that I have 
invited Professor Heer of Zurich, the best botanist in Europe 
for fossil tertiary plants, to come here in the autumn — 
August and September — to determine the Bovey coal«plants 
which have been collected by Mr. Pengelly at the expense 
of Miss Burdett-Coutts. 


Heer is particularly desirous of examining the Mull 
plants, because he thinks they will form a link between the 
Miocene plants of Bovey Tracey, Switzerland, and the 
fossils of the surtebrand of Iceland, which Heer has lately 
worked upon. Among other wonderful discoveries they find 
the tulip- tree {Liriodendron) in that now cold and treeless 
island, and Heer thinks that Scotland in the Miocene period 
may have supported a similar flora. 

If you can do anything, whether by new researches or 
by placing at Heer's disposal any stores already accumulated 
of the plant-bearing beds, it is a fine opportunity of having 
them thoroughly examined by a first-rate authority. 

He will detect species where they might evade the search 
of any other naturalist, having so practised an eye. His 
work now finished on the * Flora Tertiaria Helvetica ' is a 
beautiful and most satisfactory one. 

Believe me most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Leonard Lyell. 

Folkestone : August 7, 1861. 

My dear Leonard,^ — If you visit Clova, or make out 
some other expedition, I hope you will write me an account 
of it. I was glad to hear you had found Ancylus fluvi^tilis. I 
met with it lately fossil in France, in great numbers, in gravel 
in which two species of extinct elephants and a rhinoceros 
had been met with. The gravel was laid open in a railway 
cutting on the banks of the river Oise. 

Naturalists used to wonder how this Ancylus got spread 
over the country in separated lakes and streams, till some 
one found a young Ancyltis adhering to the elytra of one of 
those large boat-beetles, Dyiiscus marginalisy which you will 
see in the collection at Drumkilbo,' and which fly about at 
night from pond to pond, and may sometimes carry the 
Ancylus with them, if, like the Patella which you saw high 
and dry on the rocks here, he can manage to do without 
water for an hour or two, as most probably he can. 

Tell mamma we gathered samphire in flower at the 

' His young nephew^ of ten years old, who was in Scotland. 
* The country house of Sir Charles's sisters. 

843 SIR CHARLES LVEUL chap. xxxv. 

Lyddon Spout yesterday, and many other marine plants, 
and wished she and you had been with ns, as Mr. Bentham 
named all the plants for as, and gave ns much botanical 
information. But we were so busy with the plants and 
with five miles of walking, that we had no time for fossils, 
and when we reached the gault it was almost dark. The 
tide was lower than when you were there with me. 

Tell Uncle Tom that Mr. Powrie has been to Arbroath, 
and has written to say that he finds that he was mistaken, 
and not I, about the position of certain beds of conglomerate 
and purplish shale which he, Mr. Powrie, said in a paper 
read to the Geological Society, were not as I had represented 
them during a visit I made to the spot forty years ago. It 
is an mteresting place, and I hope some day to examine it 
with you, but I must not wait another forty years, unless I 
intend to rival the Countess of Desmond, 

Who lived to the a^ of a hundred and ten, 
And was killed by a fall from a cherry-tree then. 

I believe Aunt Mary told mamma about a letter of Mr. 
Darwin's, wanting Mr. Bentham to tell him how to get from 
Tenby in Wales a variety of Orchis pyrajnidalisy which you 
remember gathering here, * without spurs,' which mamma 
one day pointed out to me as so cnaracteristic of the flowers 
of that plant. The first specimen which Mr. Bentham 
gathered in the Warren when talking with rae of C. Darwin's 
letter, was this very variety and monstrosity. But though 
we have picked two or three dozen since, not one of them 
departed from the usual type, and I fear they are all gone 
off now, which is a pity, as Dai-win has written to me for 
another without spurs. But I shall try again if the rain 
will but stop. Yesterday we had a splendid day, the French 
cofist very clear. 

Give my love to Frank and Arthur and Rosamond. 
Believe me, my dear Leonard, 

Tour affectionate uncle, 

Charles Lyell. 

i86i. FOSSIL BOTANY, 349 

To Sib Chables Bunbuby. 

London: August 26, 1861. 

My dear Bunbury, — I wrote some time ago to Heer of 
Zurich, asking him, if he had any copies by him of his 
* Fossil Flora of Switzerland,' to bring one with him to 
London in September, for that you wished to buy it. I 
begged him at the same time to bring, if possible, a copy for 
both you and me, of a beautiful French translation which I 
know Gaudin was making of the grand Essay on the ^ Swiss 
Tertiaries ' as compared to those of other countries, and on 
climate, all treated from a botanical point of view. In this 
translation Heer himself has added some valuable pages here 
and there on Aix-la-Chapelle plants of Debey, on (Eninghen 
insects, Ac. It would make a good 8vo. volume. All the 
rest of the book, the description of the plants, &c., does very 
well in German, but this theoretical portion, which is very 
well done, it is a luxury to have in French. Gaudin has also 
added some chapters to which his name is appended. 

Heer has sent me a report on the Bovey coal-plants. 
They had only made out about fifteen species, and now 
that Pengelly has, at my suggestion, sent over the collection 
to Zurich, Heer finds forty-five species. I see he has named 
a Lastrway L. Bunburii, It is Lower Miocene. A great or 
rather abundant Sequoia, allied to the Californian mammoth 
tree, forms the bulk of the coal, cones and seeds in pleuty. 
Sequoia Coutt»iw is named in honour of the lady at whose 
expense the collection was made. There are palms (palma- 
cites); cinnamons, two species; Nymphwa, ProteacecB, 
QuercuSy two vines; FicuSy two species; Gardt^iia. I quote 
from memory, having had to send on the letter to Pengelly 
the same day I got it. Fifteen species identical with conti- 
nental Lower Miocene ; many new species. I expect Heer 
here in a week, and he will go to Bovey Tracey, and I daresay 
find more species. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

350 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxv. 

To Pbofessob Heee.* 

63 Harley Street, London: August 26, 1861. 

My dear Professor Heer, — The day I received your letter 
I sent it to Mr. Pengelly, and I have this morning heard 
from him. He is as much delighted at the importance of 
your results as I am, and he is more surprised, for I always 
felt sure that you would find twice or thrice as many species 
as they had dreamt of. 

I am extremely gratified by the compliment which yon 
and M. Gaudin have had the kindness to pay me in yonr 
dedication to me of the translation of your splendid essay, 
which I am reading in French with renewed pleasure and 
admiration. When I first received the copy, I did not see 
that the dedication was there, and so acknowledged the 
parcel in my letter to M. Gaudin without any special allusion 
to this very flattering testimony of jour esteem. I hope 
the new edition will be approved of by you. I have gone 
much farther than before in favour of a progressive develop- 
ment, and have also endeavoured to show the importance of 
botany in geological classification. 

Believe me most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Leonard Hornee, Esq. 

53 Harley Street London : November 6, 1861. 

My dear Horner, — We had a good meeting of the 
Philosophical Club, eighteen present. Sabine in the chair 
in great force. Grove, Williamson, Miller of King's College, 
Sharpey, Carpenter, Daubeny, Falconer, Frankland, Ga^siot, 
Hooker, Huxley, Bence Jones, Partridge, Sykes, Tyndall, 
Wheatstone. Tyndall gave an account of an attempt he had 
made to measure the heat of the moon's beams by an instru- 
ment on the roof of the Royal Institution, and he found in 
a clear sky, that the moon when the instrument was turned 
to it produced a chill. Melloni had found heat, but he 

< Professor Oswald Ileer, of the Technological Inst itute of Zurich, eminent 
fossil botanist, author of the Umelt der Schweitz, and other important 


found cold; he supposed there was watery vapour in the 
air, acted on by the heat of the moon. Grove and Miller dis- 
cussed it, but could make little of the fact theoretically. At 
last Sharpey said that in controverting Tyndall's hypothesis, 
they seemed to forget that his having ascertained the fact 
was a great point, and they owed him thanks, although his 
own expectations had been 

Quenched in the chaste beams of the watery moon. 

With this happy quotation, which produced quite a burst of 
applause, the matter ended, and Huxley gave an account of 
the Neander-thal cranium, and asked what he should call it. 
Some one suggested * an anthropoid,' which he has adopted 
since, in talking with me about it. T was asked to give 
some idea of the age of said skull, and of Lartet's Aurig- 
nac cave, which 1 did. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Geobge Ticenob, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : November 10, 1861. 

My dear Ticknor, — Milman was much pleased, when I 
called one day, to show me a couple of handsome volumes, 
the last of the series of eight of his * Latin Christianity,' 
which had come out in the United States (New York, I 
think), since the war began. When people express surprise 
at such things, I remind them that everything went on here 
much as usual when we were in the worst of the Crimean 
War. I hope you read the Duke of Argyll on the * American 
War,' the best speech I think of all, in or out of the Cabinet. 

I like what I see of Adams, the new Minister here of the 
United States. But he must have much to put up with, if 
it were only the ignorance of American affairs shown by the 
questions put to him. If, says Mr. Adams, the questioners 
were not politicians it would be more excusable. He, the 
Minister, cannot pay visits, as the only time he went out of 
town for two days, he was telegraphed back again, so con- 
stant are the andvals of news, and so numerous the points 
which he has to give answers about. The forfeiture of 

852 S/R CHARLES LYE/X. chap. xxxw. 

merchant vessels because they have a one-sixteenth of their 
cargo belonging to Southern States, was the last affair I 
heard of, many Americans not daring to lenye London and 
Liverpool, and wanting to learn from Adams what is the 
force and construction of some late Act of Congress. 

I suppose you have read the memoir of De Tocqneville. 
I never met him except that morning at Lord Stanhope's 
whf n you were last here, when I thought him most agreeable 
and conversationally eloquent. 

Remember me to all your circle. 

Ever affectionately yours, Chables LxELif 

To Leonabd Hobneb, Esq. 

Barton : December 26, 1861. 

My dear Homer, — You were mourning like us the loss 
we have sustained by Prince Albert's death.* It was many 
days before I could fully realise it. I went down the day of 
the evening he died, and at four o'clock, just as the illness 
took its fatal turn, I found a bulletin at the Palace which led 
us to hope that the danger was nearly over. I hardly think 
I ever saw a family where there was more domestic happiness 
and good understanding between husband and wife, and 
father and children. As to the reserve with which he was 
charged, I can only say that to me, and I am sure to a 
multitude of others, he was remarkably open, and talked of 
all subjects, even the most serious, without fear of commit- 
ting himself*. Though I have spoken with him often since 
then, the last time I had a full hour's talk, tete-a-iete^ I owe 
to Susan's asking me to arrange the affair of Mi-s. Jameson's 
bust. That was soon settled, and he went into Educational, 
Exhibitional, British Museum, and other subjects, and did 
not mind speaking of his disappointment when he had been 
overruled, and listened when I did not quite agree with him 
as to the British Museum with patience, and like one who 
wished to look at the matter on all sides. I know of no public 
man in England who was so serious on religious matters, and 
so unfettered by that formalism and political churchism and 
conventionalism which rules in our upper classes. 

* Mr. Homer was spending the winter in Florence with his familj. 


The only point I ever remember distinctly diflTering from 
him, 80 that the subject was afterwards avoided, was 
Hungary. As to Germany he went quite as far as I do in 
his liberalism, but he could not help looking upon Hungary 
from a German point of view, though I believe he thought 
of the folly of Austria, with her Concordat, &c., much as 
I do. 

Having seen his marriage, and the eldest children when 
they were hardly out of the nursery at Balmoral, and then 
the/6^e8 at the marriage of his daughter, and now his death 
as a grandfather, and having felt myself so far advanced in 
my own career when I first knew him, I cannot think of his 
being gone without seeming all at once much aged myself. 
The regular meeting of the Geological Society was put off 
because of this death. 

As to my new book,^ I get on very steadily and with 
pleasure to myself. T am now treating of the relations of 
the earlier history of man to the glacial period — a difficult 
subject, especially as 1 have to connect it with some new 
views respecting the glacial hypothesis, both as relates to 
Scandinavia, Scotland, and the Alps. I have deferred what 
I am to say on Darwin to the last or eighteenth chapter, 
knowing that were I once to begin there is no chance 
of coming out this year, but if all is ready but that, I may 
have courage to abridge it into one short chapter. 

Believe me yours affectionately, 

Charles Lyell. 

To John Murkat, Esq., Albemarle Street 

January 2, 18G2. 

My dear Sir, — T was at Sir Charles Bunbury's in the 
country, or I should have replied sooner. 

The late Prince Consort certainly deserves the most 
eloquent Sloge that one of your best writers can give him in 
the * Quarterly.' He was always thinking of what could be 
done to improve the nation morally and socially, and in the 
fine arts, and how popular education, and that of the higher 
classes, could be advanced. 

• On the Antiquity of Man, 
VOL. U. A A 

85 1 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxv. 

I believe it was a common idea that he was too reserved, 
but he was very much the reverse. I am sore that not a 
few can affirm tbat he talked most freely and withont 
resti*airit on a great variety of subjects on which many 
public men would have been somewhat afraid of committing 
themselves. He was certainly very carefnl, as became a man 
in his position, to avoid personalities, but he spoke ont his 
opinions fearlessly, often on the most speculative as well as 
on practical subjects, and always listened patiently to what 
one had to say on the other side. 

The quantity of work he got through, in spite of innnmer* 
able interruptions, was immense. His foreign correspondence 
alone, which the public here knew nothing of, would have 
been thought sufficient occupation for one who had nothing 
else to do. I remember on two occasions when he was 
called upon to write addresses, one as President of the 
British Association, and one again for the Social Science 
meeting, that he told me they taxed him rather too mach, 
as his other engagements were so numerous, and many of 
them requiring much thought. He told me there was an 
unusual pressure upon him when he had to compose his 
British Association Address for Aberdeen, and that he felt 
strongly he had not done justice to it. Once when I 
requested him to attend a meeting of the Geological Society, 
he looked at his note-book, and I was astonished at the 
number of Wednesdays in advance that he already had 
engagements for, and on my expressing surprise, he showed 
me that it would have been the same had we met on any 
other day of the week. A very large proportion of these had 
reference to some useful object, or were connected with the 
duties of his station. 

He had no special acquaintance with geology or miner- 
alogy, or so far as I know with any branch of natural history, 
but he knew enough of all to be interested in them, and to 
understand what their cultivators were about. How much 
he desired to encourage them, and how much he wished that 
the elements of these branches of knowledge should enter 
more largely into the system of education in this country, is 
well known. 

When I first knew him, about fifteen years ago, I found 

1 862. THE PRINCE CONSORT. • 355 

that he had read my * First Travels in Noi-th America ' with 
some attention, and he referred more than once to what I 
had said on educational matters. He was then very sanguine 
of the progress that might be made in his own time in the 
diffusion of popular education. Twelve or thirteen years 
later he was equally zealous in the cause, but expressed his 
disappointment that * all that we of the present generation 
in this country can hope, is to teach those who will educate 
the generation that is to follow.' Alluding to my citation 
of what Liebig had said to Faraday on the different relative 
value set by the Germans and English on the practical in 
science, and the purely theoretical, or discovery of new truths 
or principles (* First Travels,' vol. i. p. 309), he said he 
believed Liebig had justly estimated the character of the two 
nations, and that both might in this respect learn from the 

He often alluded to the want of cultivation of the German 
language amongst the higher class, and the number of 
diplomatists who had been sent to German Courts, and even 
important embassies, who knew little or nothing of the 
language of the people. It is well known how much he tried 
to remedy this by giving prizes at Eton, &c. When fiist the 
excellence and originality of his speeches and addresses on 
various occasions attracted attention, it wad very commonly 
asked, who wrote them for him ? When I declared to some 
who put this question, that 1 was convinced he got no help 
from anyone in the way of ideas or opinions, only now and 
then some passages were put out of the German into the 
English idiom by friends (and this only in early days), I 
found people very incredulous. It seemed to me that for 
years he was underrated, at least that his great talents were 
not duly appreciated, and that his character was not under- 

I think the best tribute to his memory would be to 
collect all his speeches, and to make in your Review a 
judicious set of extracts. There would be much life in them, 
and some of the best will be found in newspapers, and not 
separately printed. There was a very good one I am told at 
a Royal Academy dinner which I missed. 

I never made any notes of conversations which I had 

A A 2 

856 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxr. 

with the Prince, but I have a vivid recollection of many, 
which I have never repeated to anyone, thinking it would 
be a breach of confidence. 

I believe it was Sir James Mackinto&h who said that m 
biography to be worth anything oaght never to have been 
written, and I feel much the same in regard to such a letter 
as would really answer the object you have in view. 

Chables LtblIi. 

To Leovabd Hobneb, £sq. 

63 Harley Street, London : Febmaxy 2S, ISCS. 

My dear Homer, — I must send you a few words on the 
anniversary, which went off very well. Mnrchison read yoor 
letter, which was well received, and he then delivered an 
appropriate complimentary address to Ghxlwin Austen on 
presenting the medals. Austen, who was remarkably grati- 
fied by the honour, replied at length, and said he should 
work much harder in future. The chairman then gave a 
biographical account of the late Dr. Fitton, which he had 
got up with much pains, and which was a just tribute to 
one who had taken so active a part in the Society as well 
as in our science. After which, Huxley delivered a brilliant 
critical discourse on what paleontology has and has not 
done, and proved the value of negative evidence, how much 
the progressive development system has been pushed too 
far, how little can be said in favour of Owen^s more 
generalised types when we go back to the vertebrate and 
iiivertebrata of remote ages, the persistency of many forms 
high and low throughout time, how little we know of the 
beginning of life upon the earth, how often events called 
contemporaneous in Geology are applied to things which 
instead of coinciding in time, may have happened ten 
million of years apart, &c. &c., and a masterly sketch com- 
paring the past and present and almost every class in 
zoology, and something of botany cited from Hooker, which 
he said he had done because it was useful to look into the 
collars and see how much gold there was there, and whether 
the quantity of bullion justified such an enormous circu- 
lation of paper. I never remember an address listened to 

1 862. GEOLOGICAL DINNER. '3:>7 

with such interest or received with such applause, though 
there were many private protests against some of his bold 

The dinner at Willis's was well attended ; I should think 
eighty or more present. The Duke of Argyll made an excel- 
lent speech on proposing Ramsay's health. Monckton Milnes 
made a happy and humorous speech in reply to ' Members 
of the House of Commons.' I was requested to give the 
* Universities/ which I coupled with Dr. Williams, Principal 
of Jesus College, with whom we stayed at Oxford, who 
spoke fluently in reply. Lord Ducie, Sir Philip Egerton, Sir 
H. James, most of the Council, and a full representation of 
Jermyn Street were there. The Duke of Argyll having 
talked of Scotland as a specific centre from which so many 
geologists had come, Warrington Smyth stood up for other 
centres of creation south of the Tweed, and late in the 
evening Huxley made them merry by a sort of mock-modest 
speech. I sat between Charles Bunbury and Dr. Williams, 
and had a pleasant time of it, and was pleased to think how 
much life there is coming on in the Society, when all of us 
who are above sixty are added to the extinct organisms. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To His Sistee. 

63 Harley Street: March 7, 1S(>2. 

My dearest Caroline, — I do not wonder that you thought 
Curtis was dead, for really when I called after more than a 
year and a half, I wondered whether I should find that he 
was still surviving the mischief which the three cabs, all of 
which had passed over different parts of his body, had done 
him. I was shown in, and though quite blind found him 
looking well, wearing a handsome grey beard. ... I found 
Curtis up to all that is going on in entomology, and envying 
the luck of a friend who lives near the great Lowestoft 
lighthouse, where the moths come by thousands so as to 
darken the light, and require to be swept away, some of 
them crossing from the Continent, and not being British 
species. Enough indeed to make an old blind collector's 

^•y^ S//i CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxt. 

mouth water. Then he told me how the * Glory of Kent,' 
Bomhyx versicolor, which once cost 21, 2«., conld noTv^ be had 
for 88, 6d., and other gossip of that sort. By the way, 
some day as I pass a dealer opposite the British Museum I 
will send you the said * Glory.' So much for getting blind 
when near seventy, and having three cabs go over one. 

Your affectionate brother, 


To Charles Darwin, Esq. 

Freshwater Gate, Isle of Wight : August 20, 1862. 

My dear Darwin, — Mr. Jamieson of Ellon has been again 
to Lochaber, and confirms his former theory of the glacier 
lakes. Tie chief new point is a supposed rise at the rate of 
a foot per mile of the shelves as we proceed from the sea 
inland. It seems to me to require manj more measurements, 
before we can rely on it. He found some splendid moraines 
opposite the mouth of Glen Trieg. He found some shells 
of Arctic character in the forty feet high raised beach of the 
Argyllshire coast, and has asked me to learn about one of 
them, of which he sends a drawing. 

I fell in yesterday in my walk with Mr. A. G. More, 
whom you cite in your orchid book. He considers you the 
most profound of reasoners, to which I made no objection, 
only being amused at remembering that, such being the case, 
you had performed a singular feat, as the Bishop of Oxford 
assured me, of producing * the most illogical book ever 

We shall be here for a week longer. I have been with 
my nephew Leonard to Alum and Compton Bays. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Lady Bunbuey. 

53 Harley Street: November 16, 1862. 

My dear Frances, — The so-called gorilla which is going 
the rounds of the newspapers is a fine male chimpanzee, still 
at Liverpool. Tliey told me to-day at the Zoological 
Gardens that some years ago there was a real live gorilla at 

1 862. 'MEMOIR OF PRESCOTT: 359 

Liverpool which lired eight months and was mistaken for a 
chimpanzee, but they stuffed him and the mistake was 
afterwards detected. So the present hoax is a sort of 

The Marquis d'Azeglio told me this morning that the 
ibex or bouquetin of which, as well as of the chamois, the 
King of Sardinia has sent a pair to the Gardens, is only a 
hybrid between the ibex and goat. It had been spoken of 
as of pure breed. 

Mary and I saw Bishop Colenso yesterday, who is a very 
gentlemanlike and intellectual style of man. 

I have to give evidence to-morrow before the Public 
School Commission — Lord Clarendon in the chair — recom- 
mending two hours a week on science and natural history, 
as an encroachment on Latin verses and translating Addison 
into Greek prose, to which the other forty hours must be 

November 20. — I missed the Geological yesterday, and 
shall not go to Owen's paper on the * Paleornis * to-night at 
the Royal, nor to a dinner at the Rich's, nor to one which 
Katharine has invited me to, but in spite of every denial of 
the kind, I move slowly on. This last week an interesting 
examination by the Commissioners of Public Schools, in 
which they wished to have my opinion as to the feasibility 
of introducing the elements of natural history and physical 
science (two hours a week only) into Eton, Winchester, 
Harrow, &c., stirred me up a good deal and did not benefit 
me in my progress in my book. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Ohables Lyell. 

To Geobge TlCKNOB, Esq. 

63 Harley Street, London : December 19, 1862. 

My dear Ticknor, — I was glad to hear that you had at last 
determined to bring out your * Life ' or * Memoir of Prescott * 
without waiting for the end of the war, which may possibly 
be deferred, not to the Greek kalends, for I don't think the 
South will hold out two years, but for a time so uncertain 
that it is better not to delay it. I should much have liked 


it to have come out when people were less excited ly battles 
and sQch vital questions as the emancipation of fhe sIftTet. 
People are beginning, I think, to estimate the ^ii^w#»ial 
resonrces of the North and the real wealth of the oovutrf 
better than they were. If the result of the struggle could 
be the abolition of slavexy by the year 1900, it would be 
worth a heavy debt and many lives, at any rate when one 
thinks of what most wars are waged for, not but that the 
Union alone is worth a long fighting for. The distress in 
Lancashire is increasing, and I suppose we must have 
parliamentary aid. The cotton we get from India so raises 
the price that they (the Indians) suffer severely, and their 
native manufactures are knocked up. 

The Milmans are well. He getting out a new edition of 
his ' History of the Jews/ and will reply to Greorge Comewall 
Lewis, who makes out the Egyptians so modem, and says 
they were never a conquering people. Surely he never 
could have seen the processions of captives and the sieges on 
the temples. 

Bishop Colenso on the ' Pentateuch ' is making as much 
noise this year as did the ' Essays and Beviews ' last year. If 
people had read what Norton, or the (Germans, or our 
William Greg in his ' Creed of Christendom,' have said so well, 
there could be no sensation created by such a book. But 
the policy is well sustained, never to reply to any lay attack, 
as it only draws it into notice. But if a churchman enters 
the lists, Convocation and meetings of the clergy, and the 
* Record ' and other intolerant papers, set to work advertising 
the delinquent publication, as if they were bribed by Long- 
man, who sold 10,000 copies of Colenso the first day (price 
6«.) and is going on since pretty steadily. The decision on 
the case of the * Essays and Reviews has left churchmen very 
free on most points which they were afraid to venture on 
for fear of legal penalties. One thing affirmed by Colenso 
is universally admitted, that the strictness of the ordination 
vows is preventing the young men of both Universities of 
most talent and the finest moral sense from entering the 

Believe me ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 



MARCH l8G3-AnGUST 1863. 


To Da. Joseph Hookee. 

London : March 9, 1863. 

My dear Hooker, — Darwin has sent me a useful set of 
corrii^fenda and criticisms for the oew edition I am busy in 
preparing.* He seems much disappointed that I do not go 
farther with him, or do not speak out more. I can only say 
that I have spoken out to the full extent of my present con- 
victions, and even beyond my state of feeling as to man's 
unbroken descent from the brutes, and I find I am half 
converting not a few who were in arms against Darwin, and 
are even now against Huxley. 

I feel that Darwin and Huxley deify secondary causes 
too much. They think they have got farther into the 
domain of the * unknowable ' than they have by the aid of 
variation and natural selection. 

Asa Gray says that Lyell's doctrine is * that the thing 
that is, is the thing that has been, and shall be.' Now if 
tne thing that is, in the case of a man of genius bom of 
ordinary parents and with ordinary brethren of the same 
parentage imply a slight leap, I do not see why Darwin 
should complain of my leap, given only as a speculation, from 
the highest unprogressive to the lowest progressive. 

However, 1 plead guilty to going farther in my reasoning 

* Antiquity of J/an. 


62 S/H CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvt. 

towards transmatation than in my sentiments and imagiii- 
atiou, and perhaps for that very reason I shall lead mora 
people on to Darwin and yon, than one who, being bom later, 
like Lubbock, has comparatively little to abandon of did and 
long cherished ideas, which constituted the charm to me of 
the theoretical part of the science in my earlier days, when 
I believed with Pascal in the theory, as HaUam terms it, of 
* the archangel ruined.*/ 

Monday evening.-^^On my return home to dinner T find 
your letter. I have not time to reply, but thank you much. 

As the glacial chapters are of course not the most popular, 
I am the more pleased that you and Darwin like them. 

I see you coincide with Darwin, and not with Crawford 
and others, who tell me they are so glad ' I did not lay down 
transmutation dogmatically as proved, though I have evi- 
dently come nearly quite round to it.' 

I don't care what people have been expecting as to the 
extent to which I may go with Darwin, but certainly I do 
not wish to be inconsistent with myself. Though, as I have 
been gradually changing my opinion, I do not want to insist 
on others going round at once. When I read again certain 
chapters of the ' Principles,' I am always in danger of shaldng 
some of my confidence in the new doctrine, but am brought 
back again on reconsidering sach essays as Darwin's, Wal- 
lace's, and yours. I see too many difficulties to be in the 
danger of many new converts who outrun their teacher in 

I have not had time to profit fully by your valuable letter, 
but shall do so, and beg you to write freely if you have not 
said all in the way of criticism. I have heaps of approving 
letters, but few are able and willing to help one by such 
comments as yours and Darwin's. 

Believe me ever sincerely yours, 

Chables LtEIiL. 

To Charles Daewin, Esq. 

63 Harley Street : March 11, 18S3. 

My dear Darwin, — I see the * Saturday Eeview ' calls my 
book ^Lyell's Trilogy on the Antiquity of Man, Ice, and 


As to my having the authority you suppose to lead a 
public who up to this time have regarded me as the advocate 
of the other side (as in the * Principles ') you much over- 
rate my influence. In the new * Year Book of Facts ' for 
1863, of Timbs, you will see my portrait, and a sketch of my 
career, and how I am the champion of anti-transmutation. 
I find myself after reasoning through a whole chapter in 
favour of man's coming from the animals, relapsing to my 
old views whenever I read again a few pages of the 
^ Principles,' or yearn for fossil types of intermediate grade. 
Truly 1 ought to be charitable to Sedgwick and others. 
Hundreds who have bought my book in the hope that I 
should demolish heresy, will be awfully confounded and dis- 
appointed. As it is, they will at best say with Crawfurd, 
who still stands out, *You have put the case with such 
moderation that one cannot complain.' But when he read 
Huxley, he was up in arms again. 

My feelings, however, more than any thought about 
policy or expediency, prevent me from dogmatising as to the 
descent of man from the brutes, which, though I am pre- 
pared to accept it, takes away much of the charm from my 
speculations on the past relating to such matters. 

I cannot admit that my leap at p. 605,*^ which makes you 
* groan,' is more than a legitimate deduction from * the thing 
that is ' applied to * the thing that has been,' as Asa Gray 
would say, and I have only put it moderately, and as a 

I cannot go Huxley's length in thinking that natural 
selection and variation account for so much, and not so far 
as you, if I take some passages of your book separately. 

I think the old * creation ' is almost as much required as 
ever, but of course it takes a new form if Lamarck's views 
improved by yours are adopted. 

What I am anxious to effect is to avoid positive incon- 
sistencies in different parts of my book, owing probably to 
the old trains of thought, the old ruts, interfering with the 
new course. 

But you ought to be satisfied, as I shall bring hundreds 

' See Antiquity of Man^ first edition, p. 505. 



364 S//^ CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx\i. 

towards you, who if I treated the matter more dogmaticallj 
would have rebellefl. 

I have spoken out to the utmost extent of my tether, so 
far as mj reason goes, and farther than my imagination and 
sentiment can follow, which I suppose has caused occasional 

Woodward is the best arguer I have met with against 
natural selection and variation. He puts conehological 
difficulties against it very forcibly. He is at the same time 
an out-and-out progressionist. 

I am glad that both you and Hooker like the * ice * part 
of the Trilogy. You are the first to allude to my remarks 
on Ramsay, who says * 1 shall come round to his views in 
good time.' 

Falconer, whom I referred to oftener than to any other 
author, yays 1 have not done justice to the part he took in 
resuscitating the cave question, and says he shall come out 
with a separate paper to prove this. I offered to alter any- 
thing in the new edition, but this he declined. Pray write 
any criticism that occurs to you ; you cannot put them too 
strongly or plainly. 

Ever yours sincerely, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Charles Darwin, Esq. 

63 llarley Street : March 15, 18G3. 

My dear Darwin, — Tour letter will be very useful. I 
wish to get such passages so far in the Darwinian direction 
as not to be inconsistent v-ith my general tone, and wiiat 
Hookt?r calls some of my original arguments in favour of 
natural selection. At the same time I am struck by the 
number of compliments, both in reviews and in conversation 
with the half-converted, which I receive, because I have left 
them to draw their own inferences, and have not told them 
dogmatically that they must turn round with me. Hooker 
admits that in science people do not like to be told too 
plainly that they must believe, though in religion they wish 
to have it laid down for them. Yet he may be wrong, for 
if the 'Times* were to write for the next fortnight against 

1863. LAAfARCK. 365 

the Southern States, and against the Poles, nine-tenths of 
good society would whirl round, and the middle class which 
would stand firm would be able to do so partly because they 
read cheaper papers which are not interested in following 
the lead of the * Times/ .... 

I wish I deserved what you say about taking criticism 
kindly. I often think I should be as touchy as anyone if 
the success of my works did not give me a constant oppor- 
tunity of profiting immediately by every suggestion as to style 
and moral tone, and above all as to facts and logic. Besides 
the increased responsibility which 1 incur by the trusting 
public, who before they had read a word induced the trade 
to bid for 3,850 copies, I have the prospect, if I improve 
my knowledge and my teaching, of future success in new 
editions with comparatively little labour. 

As to Lamarck I find that Grove, who has been reading 
him, is wonderfully struck with his book. I remember that 
it was the conclusion he came to about man that fortified 
me thirty years ago against the great impression which his 
arguments at first made on my mind, all the greater 
because Constant Provost, a pupil of Cuvier's forty years ago, 
told me his conviction * that Cuvier thought species not real, 
but that science could not advance without assuminjj that 
they were so.' When I came to the conclusion that after 
all Lamarck was going to be shown to be right, that we 
must ^go the whole orang,' I re-read his book, and remem- 
bering when it was written, I felt I had done him injustice. 

Even as to man*s gradual acquisition of more and more 
ideas, and then of speech slowly as the ideas multiplied, and 
then his persecution of the beings most nearly allied and 
competii*g with him — all this is very Darwinian. 

The substitution of the variety-making power for * voli- 
tion,' * muscular action,' &c. (and in plants even volition was 
not called in) is in some respects only a change of names. 
Call a new variety a new creation, one may say of the former 
as of the latter, what you say when you observe that the 
creationist explains nothing, and only afiirms * it is so because 
it is so.' 

Lamarck's belief in the slow changes in the organic and 
inorganic world in the year 1800, was surely above the 

3G6 S//^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvi 

; standard of his times, and he was right about progression in 

■ the main, thouprh you have vastly advanced that doctrine. 

As to Owen in his Aye Aye paper, he seems to me a disciple 
; of Pouchet, who converted him at Rouen to * spontaneons 


Have I not at p. 412 put the vast distinction between 
1 you and Lamarck as to * necessary progression * strongly 

} enough ? 

j Huxley's second thousand ' is going oflF well. If he had 

; leiflure like you and me ; — and the vigour and logic of the 

lectures, and his address to the Geological Society, and half 
a dozen other recent works (letters to the * Times * on 
Darwin, &c.), been all in one book, what a position he 
would occupy! I entreated him not to undertake the 
* Natural History Review ' before it began. The responsi- 
I' bility all falls on the man of chief energy and talent ; it is a 

ii quarterly mischief, and will end in knocking him up. 

I am sorry you have to go to Malvern. The good of the 
water-cure is abstinence from work ; a tour abroad would 
do it, I am persuaded, as effectually and more profitably. 

I hope my long letter will not task you too much ; when 
I sit down to write to you, I can never stop. Hooker, not 
having heard from you, is growing anxious, and hopes it is 
because you are corresponding with me and not because of 
serious ill-health. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chaeles Lteltj. 

To Lady Ltell. 

Osborne: May 6, 1863. 

My dearest Mary, — At Southampton I found a Queen's 
Messenger, and on the way to the docks fell in >vith Lord 
Stanley of Alderley, who had come down by the same train, 
bound for Osborne. At the docks in a room there. Sir James 
Clark was waiting, having only arrived ten minutes before 
me. He had hired a nice open carriage, and given me the 
offer to go on in the ^ Elfin ' steam yacht with Lord Stanley 
to Osborne, or with him to Netley. I chose the latter, and 

, ■ Lccturet to Working Men, 

1 863. VISIT TO OSBORNE. 367 

after a pleasant drive of some five or six miles after crossing 
the Itchen ferry in a steamboat, we saw the Abbey, and then 
went over the Military Hospital, an immense building for 
about 1,000 invalid soldiers, with four or five Professors of 
Medicine and Surgery, Museum, &c. Most of the patients 
are soldiers who have served in the East Indies, and it must 
be good practice for the young medical students from twenty 
to twenty- four years old to attend here on those who have 
Indian complaints of the liver, Ac, just what they will find 
when they get out to India. A lecture was being delivered 
by one Professor, another showed me a collection of skulls 
for ethnology presented by army surgeons, another pointed 
out to me numerous bones with gunshot wounds, &c. After 
two hours there, and seeing geological specimens and Brackle- 
sham fossils from an artesian well {Carditaplanecostatay Fusus 
longevvs), 180 feet deep, which they have dug, we left. 

It is a beautiful site near the sea, this Netley Hospital, 
on a deep and extensive bed of gravel, and all the news- 
paper stories of its being in a bog were inventions. The 
colonel who commands assured me they are never annoyed 
at low tide by the smell of the mud. 

We had expected the * Elfin ' to return from Osborne to 
take us up at the Hospital, but Prince Leopold's tutor and 
Prince Alfred's had got hold of her to go on board the great 
ironclad and ram ship of war the ' Resistance,' and we 
received a message to take the Southampton packet. So we 
started in a boat with good sailors sent from the ^ Elfin,' and 
glad I was of my cloak, for we were for an hour tossing 
about off Calshot Castle. Botn the Southampton boat and 
the * Elfin ' came in sight from opposite quarters at last, and 
it was twenty minutes before we knew which we should take. 
At last we got into the * Elfin ' which took us to the 
* Resistance,' but the Prince's party had not done their 
inspection, and the * Elfin ' took us to the pier at Osborne, 
and Sir James and I landed and walked with our small bags 
through the pleasant grounds to the house, which we reached 
at half-past five o'clock, and we got a cup of tea. Dr. Lyon 
Playfair has been here for a day, but has left. I believe 
from what Sir James tells me, that I shall not get back till 
Saturday, but in good time. 

368 S//i CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxt 

It has been a heavenly day, or the toss in the boat, whi( 
I by no means suffered from, might have been very disagree 
able. Had there been mist, it woald have been an ni 
pleasant adventure. We saw the outside of the great rai 
the ' Resistance/ famously. 

My love to all. Believe me ever yours affectionately, 

Chasles Lt£LL. 

To Lady Ltell. 

Oflbome : Hay 7, 1863. 

My dearest Mary, — After I wrote to you Becker came t 
my sitting-room, which opens into the bed-room, command 
in*^ a pleasant view of the park with the trees in their fresl 
green foliage, as forward or more so than in London. H< 
took me down to the dining-room, where I was introduces 
by Sir T. Biddulph to his wife and to Lady Mount-Edgcumbe 
now in waiting, and her young daughter of eighteen on a visit 
Colonel Cowell, whom I talked with, you remember, on \ 
former occasion about his visit to the Dead Sea, was also ii 
the drawing-room, and we sat together at the dining-table 
and he told me of a late visit to St. Vincent in the West Indie 
— the pitch hike' of Trinidad, &c. Some fifteen in all sa 
down to dinner, and were very merry. 

Latish in the evening, when cards were playing at th< 
table, Lady Augusta Bruce came in, and asked me after you 
and had a long talk about American affairs, on which she ii 
very enlightened, though leaning to the opinion that for tht 
sake of the world (i.e. England), a separation might b( 
better ; but I think I modified her views. 

The Queen's open carriage and four, with herself and 
Princess Alice, is just driving past my window for CoweSj 
where she is to visit the Prince of Leiningen. 

The secretary, Mr. Ruland, was at breakfast this morning, 
and the same party as at dinner yesterday, except the Post- 
master-General. Sir C. Phipps talked to me with great 
admiration of Arthur Stanley, and showed me an excellent 
photograph of him. 1 am going to take a quiet read, and 
tiuen walk for an hour before luncheon with Sir James Clark, 
if not stopped by a thunderstorm which is threatening. I 


1863. PRINCESS ALICE. 86f) 

have jnst finished Milman's preface, which is excellent, and 
have lent it to Sir J. Clark. 

Three o'clock. — I only got a short walk in the garden with 
Sir James Clark when the Prince of Hesse sent for me, and 
a« I entered the Princess Alice received me, and said she 
remembered me since Balmoral days, and introduced me to 
her husband. Her manners are very charming, and she 
talked most freely on all subjects. He has really read me 
as far as the end of glacial chapters with attention. They 
had been discussing the time it would take for all the existing 
races to have come from one original pair. Arthur Stanley 
is evidently a very great favourite with the Princess. I had 
about half an hour's talk with them, and then retired to 
luncheon, having promised at four o'clock to go to the 
Swiss Cottage with Prince Louis to see the collection, which 
consists partly of objects brought home by his brother-in- 
law Prince Alfred, who he said wished to join us. 

Buland the secretary is here, so the Germans muster 
strong. When the Prince of Hesse wanted a word in Eng- 
lish, he asked his wife in German to help him. 

Becker is reading one of Mudie's copies of my book, lent 
him by Colonel Elphinstone. The Princess Alice said I 
should give her a copy of the second edition, as I had done 
to her sister. I believe I am to see the Queen before we go 
to the Swiss Cottage. 

Geikie's book on the * Glacial Period in Scotland ' is very 
well done, and may enable me to make the * Elements ' a little 
different from the * Antiquity,' in which last, however, there is 
nothing wrong, or discordant with Geikie's facts and argu- 
ments touching glacial matters. 

Seven o^clock, — The Queen sent for me before four 
o'clock, and talked with me alone for an hour and a quarter. 
Mostly about Prince Albert, leading me also to talk of him. 
Arthur Stanley recommended her to read my * Antiquity.* 
She asked me a good deal about the Darwinian theory as 
well as antiquity of man. She has a clear understanding, 
and thinks quite fearlessly for herself, and yet very modestly. 
Nothing could be more natural or touching than her admir- 
ption for the Prince. She said that for one who had so 
much enjoyment in the present, which he found wherever 


370 S/K CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxx 

he was, it was remarkable that he was cheerful whenever 
had to change place or business. If they were at Balmoi 
or Osborne, and were called to Windsor, he not only wei 
but never allowed himself to be put out. As soon as we hi 
done talking over books, &c., I went to the Swiss Cott^ 
where the Prince of Hesse and Prince Alfred were waitiuj 
The last showed me all over the museum — silicified wooi 
from Antigua brought home by himself, a very nice colle 
tion ; a collection of Portland stone fossils, tertiary shells, 
few of which he said I gave him when last at Osborne, stufic 
birds which he or the Prince of Wales had shot in Cana^ 
and elsewhere, &c. 

The Princess Helena and her next sister joined ns \ 
the museum. I then started with Becker and Raland on 
geological walk along the seaside, and in our way, fell i 
first with the Queen driving Princess Alice in a pony ca 
They went alone without any servant to the seaside, calle 
a boat, and took a row afterwards. Prince Alfred took 
boat and rowed the Prince of Hesse out to the Queen's boa 
He had no sailor to help him. In our walk we fell in wil 
Miss Hilliard and Princess Beatrice, who asked ns to coni<^ to 
small miniature fort constructed in the grounds by Prim 
Alfred, with a moat and rampart and drawbridge. He: 
she played all sorts of pranks with Becker, who barked as 
dog, and got into a small miniature barrack, and then shi 
her up in it, and so on. She has wonderful spirits. 

The weather is charming, but the gardeners and far me 
are in despair at the drought. They fear there will be i 

I hope our aunts are arrived. My visit here has been 
very agreeable one thus far. I am made to feel so vei 

I hope to hear from you this evening or to-morro 
morning, my dearest love. 

Princess Alice asked me after you and where I had le 
you. Ever your affectionate husband, 

Charles Ltell. 


To Lady Lyell. 

Osborne : May 8, 1863. 

My dearest Mary, — Sir James and I leave this at ten o'clock 
to-morrow morning. Yesterday we had Mr. Elliot to dinner, 
who says the Greeks are settling down, and getting 
reconciled with the new scheme. He describes the enthu- 
siasm for Prince Arthur as having been very great, * the son 
of the widow,' as they called him. Only 100 voted for a 
republic, but their doing so freely was an advantage, as 
showing that they were at liberty to choose. 

I have been with Becker this morning over Prince 
Alfred's museum, and find there is less disorder than I 
thought — some rubbish to be thrown away of course, but 
most of it is very fairly grouped. We went over the kitchen 
in the Swiss Cottage, in which the Boyal children cook all 
sorts of things, quite a large batterie de cuisine^ and they 
invite Becker and others to come and eat the products. 

When the Swiss Cottage, in part of which the gardener 
lives, was built, the boys used to work two or three hours a 
day in earnest with the labourers, and got certificates of 
work done from the foreman, and sent in a regular bill, 
which the Prince Consort paid exactly according to the 
then rate of wages, to give them an idea of such things. 

Then v^e went over the tool-house, the initials of every 
child on each watering-pot, v^heelbarrow, &c. ; then over the 
separate garden-plots belonging to each, from the Princess 
Eoyal's down to Princess Beatrice's, each of equal size. No 
great variety, because, if one of the elder ones chose to have 
a row of potatoes, and of strav^berries, and of currants, &c., 
each of the others imitated. The flowers do not take up a 
fourth of the whole. I came in and read for some time, and 
then set out on a second walk with Sir James Clark, to a 
kind of steward's house, older than the Palace, once a 
monastery, with a great variety of shrubs, and a holly with a 
larger trunk than I ever remember seeing. The Erica arborea^ 
now in flower, flourishes exceedingly in the garden. TTei- 
gelia roaeay 1 think, is the name of a splendid flowering 
shrub which Fortune brought twelve years ago from Shanghai 

B B 2 

:!72 S/Jt CHARLES LYF.LL. chap. ] 

ill CLina. It is in great bcant; here, standing- the drc 

30fA.— Tlie Queen has jiiat started with Ladj Mi 
Edgcutnbe and Sir James Clark to see Netley Hospital 
is almost the first time ahe has proposed anything ol 
kind, and they are all glad she is going. I take for gra 
(hat Priiiceae Alice has also gone, but I did not hear. 

The Queen has always dined privately with her 
family, and will I suppose do so to-day. 

A most beautiful small aneroid, not bigger than a 
Jarge pocket watch, has come down from Negretti, for 
Quet-n to measure heights with at Balmoral. They lia' 
fine telescope for atjir-gazing, and the night I arrived, 
Jnjiitor and his satellites, which I ouly heard about to- 
At eviry turn or,e meets the hand of the Prince Consort. 

.S'i> o'ehrk, — I Imve been walking with Becker and Rul 
to the metforolrgical obser\'atory, whei-e tlwre is a reg 
clerk of the works. For twelve ytars self-registering ins 
nients for niensuring the force and direction of the wind 
day it is NNE.], and the fall of rain, and the temperat 
di'groe of moisture, quantity of ozone in the air, baronie 
objiirvatiuns, Ac, all printed monthly. These we inspec 
and Ihcn nut alc^ng the wooded wiilks near the sea ; the a 
furze and broom, liyacintliB, some primroses in beauty. 

Si-vcn o'ehrk. — Sir James has just returned from Net 
wlicro the Queeu walked over the spacious Hospital till j 
I-iiily Slount-Eilgciimbe was knocked up. The Queei 
actually taking a drive in the grounds after all the insj 
tion and yachting. I received your letter this morning, 
was glad to hear of the arrival of our auuts, and hope to 
tliem soou after yon got this, 

Dearest love, your affectionate husband, 
Chables Lteli, 

Sir James has his' eotige, and we go to-morrow at 
o'clock. The Queen has sent word that she is to see me 
night to take leiive. 

1863. WITH THE QUEEN. 373 

To His Sistee. 

63 Harley Street, London : May 12, 1863. 

My dearest Marianne, — I am in your, and I believe 
everj'body's debt in the way of letters, Caroline I believe for 
one, whose account of the comparison of Lyceena dispar and 
its foreign variety I was glad to have. The English ento- 
mologists declare that no one can deceive them by trying to 
pass off a foreign specimen as British upon them. I have 
got a fine specimen of the American variety of the common 
Admiral, or Vanessa Atalantay which I mention in my book, 
and which I will send when you are at Drumkilbo again, for 
at present none of you would have time or heart to enter on 
a comparison of the European and American races, which 
look so like and yet are always distinguishable. 

I am busy to-day thinking what I am to say to-morrow 
at a great meeting of the Literary Fund, Lord Stanhope in 
the chair ; having this morning got positive intelligence that 
I shall have to reply to a toast on the * Writers on Science/ 
There is always a great muster of authors, and a good many 
ladies. I have paid ten guineas as my subscription towards 
the fund for distressed authors, besides a guinea for the 
dinner, as I am one of the stewards. I have felt it right as 
a * successful author * to contribute to the unsuccessful, and 
believe it is really very well managed. 

I daresay Mary and Katharine will have told you my Osborne 
news. It was a great satisfaction to have a good long talk quite 
alone with the Queen for an hour and a quart-er, and about 
one for whom I had such a regard, and for whom I felt, though 
it would not be etiquette to say so, such real friendship, as I 
did for the late Prince Albert. I do not think she has given 
way more than is perfectly natural — all necessary duties she 
has performed. The quantity of work thrown on her now is 
great. I told her that when the Social Science people 
pressed the Prince to be their President, he told me the 
anniversary address would be a severe addition to his work. 
No one of his speeches was more difficult, or, I think, better 
done, especially on the connection of science and religion, so 
difficult a question for a public man to deal with. She said 


tliis address, and the thiuking out tlie whole subje< 
tlioroughl}', 118 he always did, was one of the things whic 
ovcrta)>ked Lirn. She said he was alwajs cheerfal an 
detLTmined to tliink everything for the beat, a short lif 
among other things, of which he had sotnetimes a Bligl 
presentiment, in spite of bid good health. She has of conr: 
been reading many serious books, and I asked her if she ha 
read what Sir Benjamin Brodie has said about death. Sh 
Riiid she had, nnd was much struck with his obserrin 
that if we knew what those we had loved were doing i 
another world, or if we even knew the exact time of our ow 
death, it would alter the whole complexion of oor live; 
and probably muke us perform our duties less well in th 

I had a talk with Princess Alice and her husband sepai 
Btely in their room on another occasion, and another eveniD 
a long conversalion with the Queen, Prince and Princess f 
Hesse, and Prince Alfred — very cheerful, about books &n 
things in genenil. One morning I hud a walk with the Print 
of Hesse and Prince Alfred, and no one else, and Prince Alfre 
showed me over the museum in the garden, in which are a 
the birds stufl'ed which he and the Prince of Wales had she 
in dift'erent countries. A fine set of half-polished silicifie 
woods of varioiis kinds — palms, exogenous wood froi 
Antigua, fossil sheila from Portland, Isle of Wight, &c. H 
showed me a few Isle of Wight fossils I had given hiir 
named years ago, which I had forgotten. I was introduce 
to Princess Helena by Prince Alfred, when she looked in o 
the museum. 

The dinner party included none of the Royal family, ai) 
were most of them well known to me ; Sir C, Phipps, Sir 1 
Biddulph, Colonel Cowell, Sir J. Claik, Lady Auguata Briic( 
two German ladiesin-waiting on Princess Alice whom I ha 
not seen before. Lady Mount-Edgcumbe and a very agret 
able daughter, and some others — a very merrj' party, 

I have only aa yet seen the Princess of Wales at 
distance, but on the 19th iiist. Mary and I are asked to 
reception at St. James's Palace, which they are to have fo 
the Queen. The Queen asked me about the success of m 
new book, about which I find Canon Stanley had spoken t 


her, which had led her to request a copy from me. I had 
taken down a copy of the second edition, thinking that it might 
be useful, and Princess Alice aaked me for one, and told 
me I should dedicate it to her. Her husband had actually 
read steadily through the Queen's copy as far as near the 
end of the glacial chapters. 

I got some time for reading when I was at Osborne, and 
went over the meteorological observatory, which is first-rate, 
and the records of wind, rain, electricity, &c. &c., all kept 
by self-registering instruments, and well kept, and published 

I went to Osborne on Wednesday and returned Saturday. 
The * Tairy ' brought us back. Sir James Clark and me, in 
grand style from the pier at Osborne between ten and eleven 
o'clock, and then by fast train we went to town. 

The Royal Academy dinner this year was a brilliant 
affair, and I was glad to have a good talk with Kinglake, 
author of * Crimean War,' who sat next me. Lord Palmer- 
st^n's speech also was very entertaining and lively. There 
is a pleasant French article on my book in the * Revue des 
deux Mondes,' by Laugel. 

The Queen told me that her sons had asked her if the 
Colenso whose Arithmetic they had studied was the Bishop, 
and had remarked ' Then he must be very clever.* I told 
her that my nephew Arthur had said, * I don't like Colenso ; 
he gives me hard sums to do.' She laughed, and asking 
his age said, * All mine were older.' 

Believe me ever your affectionate brother, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Thomas S. Spedding, Esq. 

63 Harley Street : May 19, 1863. 

My dear Spedding,* — I was very glad to hear from you, 
and to know that you had been reading my book, which has 
met with great success, having as Mudie told Murray a few 
days ago, divided the reading world, so far as his library is 
a test, with Kinglake. We have sold nearly 5,000 copies. 
I wonder I have been let off with so little serious antagonism ; 

* T. S. Spedding, Esq., of Mirebonse, Eeswiok. 

876 S/J^ CHARLES LYELL. CHAP, xxx\x 

only a few indignant remonstrances on the part of the 
• Record ' and some of the Church reviews for ignoring the 
Bible, and writing just as if I had never heard of such a 
book, and could take for granted that the scientific readers 
were as indifferent as myself at the irreconcilabilitj of my 
pretended facts and reasonings with Scriptural truths. 

The question of the origin of species gave much to think 
of, and you may well believe that it cost me a struggle to 
renounce my old creed. One of Darwin's reviewers put the 
alternative strongly by asking * whether we are to believe 
that man is modified mud or modified monkey.' The mud 
is a great come-down from the * archangel ruined.* !Even in 
ten yeai s I expect, if I live, to hear of great progress made 
in regard to * fossil man/ 

I am in hopes that the struggle in America will rid the 
country in the course of twenty years of that great curse to 
the whites, slave labour, and if so, it may be worth all it 
will cost in blood and treasure. My New England friends 
do not despair, though indignant at the mismanagement at 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To the Rev. W. S. Symonds. 

Barton Hall, Bury St. Edmunds : June 23, 1863. 

My dear Symonds, — Since I wrote to you our plans have 
been somewhat more matured (and I write again, as I forget 
what day I told you we should probably leave town and 
journey towards South Wales). I propose to go on the 14th 
straight to the inn near Gower Point, from which I see by 
Murray's book that tourists see the caves of the Gower 
peninsula, those caves which Dr. Falconer and Colonel Wood 
have lately been examining, and shall try and form an 
opinion as to the relation of the extinct animals to the raised 
beach and to the glacial drift of South Wales. 

My next point is the Cefn caves near St. Asaph, in the 
north-ea?t of Wales, examined by Trimmer, Ramsay, and 
Talconer. I have a letter from Ramsay about them. They 
are best calculated in North Wales to throw light on the 

1863. MOEL TRYFAEN. 377 

relative age of the extinct mammalia and the glacial drift, 
and in their neighbourhood Captain Thomas showed Bamsay 
drift with shells. 

My other point is Moel Tryfaen, and the shells found at 
great heights by Trimmer and Bamsay near the Menai 
Straits. Not that I may succeed in seeing the shells, for 
they are very rare, but Ramsay has given me the name of a 
guide who can show me the drif: and region where they 
have been found. 

As it is only an hour or two by rail to Holyhead, I may 
go there. I hope to see a peat moss out of which Mr. 
Stanley, M.P. has dug two specimens of mammoth sent to 
the British Museum. He has invited me to see the spot. 

You were good enough to suggest some months ago that, 
if the time suited, you might be able to accompany me on 
my tour. If you could, whether for a part or the whole of 
the three weeks' run, I should be very glad. 

You said in one of your letters that there will be many 
who will go soon to Wales to see whether the enormous 
changes of level in Post Pliocene times at present inferred 
from the glacial and other phenomena are legitimate specu- 
lations. Even a brief glance of some of the ground will I 
am sure enable me better to judge than a great deal of read- 
ing, or will at least qualify me to read critically what has 
been said by others. 

Believe me ever sincerely yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To SiE Chaeles Bunbuet. 

Pcndock Rectory : July 19, 1863. 

My dear Bunbury, —We are enjoying beautiful weather 
and a splendid view of the Malvern Hills from our windows, 
having yesterday had a fine drive through the vale of Eve- 
sham to Tewkesbury, and then here. I examined Strick- 
land's Cropthom beds, and found at the level of the elephants 
and Cyrena fluminialis what may be a ^ core * from which 
flint knives were struck off, but perhaps Evans may say of it, 
as of certain prismatic flints of the elephant bed of Ickling- 
ham, that they are natural and not artificial productions. 


373 SIR CHARLES LVELL. chap, xxxvi 

He (Evans) has promised to go to Icklingliam in the sninmeT 
and to call on Mr. Prigg and trj and make out the qnestioi 
of the old trenches which contain tools. 

My visit to Charbes and Saint-Prest and the Parij 

ii museums has satisfied me of ice-action in the time o 

Elephas meridionalisy and as to Desnoyer's proofs of 'pre 
glacial man/ and horns and bones cut and scraped anc 
broken by man, at the period of the Cromer forest bed. Thej 
are certainly very curious, not to be pooh-poohed, and ye\ 
tantalising because one wants more evidence. A propos tc 
the same Cromer bed. King has just written to me to saj 
that he has found the rhizomas of Osmunda regalis. I shoulc 
like to know your opinion of the kind of evidence on whicl 
he relies so confidently. He says * the rhizomas are sc 
large that they must have risen like tree-ferns two or threi 
feet out of the ground.' Mr. Symonds has got a specimei 
containing, in one small fragment of rock, two or three seedi 
representing the oldest known plants with the oldest ye 
known Silurian fish, which he tells me he is to give you fo: 
your museum. 

With love to Frances, ever affectionately yours, 

\ Chakles Lyell. 




To Db. Joseph Hookee. 

London : July 31, 1863. 

My dear Hooker, — I have been reading the paper oi 
* Welwitschia ' with as much pleasure and profit as one s< 
igrnorant of botanical details of structure can do. I an 
glad you threw out a few hints on its bearing on the develop 
ment theory. It is a splendid anomaly, and had it beei 
carboniferous instead of a living plant, would have affordec 
Agassiz a fine illustration of his favourite theme, that in th< 
earliest periods adult organisms were what afterwards wen 
only exemplified in the embryonic stages of more highl; 
organised creatures, animal and vegetable. 

I have been with my wife and nephew Leonard geologis 
ing for two days between London and Rochester. We foun< 
primroses in flower. 

The Welwitschia would be enough for one year's work 

1863. FOSSIL SHELLS. 379 

though a mere episode in yours. The illustrations most 
telling. Ever sincerely yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Leonaed Lyell. 

63 Harley Street : August 23, 18«3. 

My dear Leonard, — I have been a long time answering 
your letter, and have now to report that I went yesterday to 
Mr. King's, whose shop is much improved, and bought three- 
pennyworth of Anacharis, as you wished, which Aunt Mary 
has put into the aquarium, when she counted the fish and 
other creatures mentioned in your letter, and found the 
number agree with your list, besides the small fry. 

I have been driving to-day all round Battersea Park, 
which is now beautified with flowers. Miles of Tom Thumb 
geraniums, blue lobelias, yellow and other calceolarias, and 
a background of dahlias. Some day T hope to take you to 
see it. 

Aunt Mary and I went over Victoria Park the other day, 
where there is a greater extent of ground, with an equally 
splendid display of flowers, and with a long piece of water 
on which were boats let out to hire and much used. 

I suppose you heard that Aunt Mary and I had a very 
pleasant tour in Wales. On a hill called Moel Tryfaen, at a 
height of 1,300 feet above the sea, I found twenty species of 
fossil shells, all of living species, in sand and gravel fifty feet 
thick. You would have known most of them familiarly, 
for there was the common cockle, whelk, eatable mussel, 
Mya truncatay the common turritella, and others, but with 
them Tellina proximUy Natica clausa^ Mangelia pyramidellay 
and other northern species. On the whole an arctic fauna 
like Spitzbergen. I have mentioned this hill in my last 
book, and the shells, but only twelve were known before — 
found some thirty-five years ago, and as Charles Darwin 
could find none, the fact was disputed by some. Luckily a 
new mining company wanting to get roofing slates, had 
spent 1601. in laying open this section just in time for me 
to see it. Next year probably it will all be closed up again, 
but not I hope till forty species have been found. 


These shells show that Snowdon and all the highest hilU 
which are in the neighbourhood of Moel Tryfaen were mere 
islands in the sea at a comparatively late period, or when 
these living European mollusks were flourishing. 

I had a good view of Colonel H. Bunbury^s place, Aber- 
gwynant, the day I rode up to the top of the mountain 
called Oader Tdris. July is often a rainy month in Wales, 
but this year we had constant fine weather. The sportsmen 
who came to fish complained of the want of rain, as the 
salmon could not get water enough to ascend the rivers, and 
were jumping in the sea in swarms oflf the coast of Aberyst- 

With my love to Frank, Arthur, Rosamond, and papa 
and mamma, believe me^ my dear Leonard, 

Ever your affectionate uncle, 

Chables Lyell. 

1864. A LADY SECRETARY. 881 




[In the beginning of 1864 his father-in-law, Mr. Leonard Homer, 
died, in his eightieth year. In April Sir Charlas and I^ady Lyell made 
an excursion to Midhurst (where he had been at school) and went on 
to Salisbury to see its valuable Archseological Museum. 

He was elected President of the British Association, which held 
its thirty-fourth anniversary at Bath, where he dwelt in his Address 
at length on the thermal springs of that place, and having spoken on 
the phenomena of glaciers, he alluded to the antiquity of man, a 
subject which was beginning to attract general attention. 

This year he was made a Baronet. 

He spent the Christmas of 1864-5 in Berlin, with his brother-in- 
law Chevalier Pertz, and in the summer of 1865 he and Lady Lyell, 
accompanied by their nephew Leonard Lyell, revisited the Alps, and 
went to the eaith-pyramids of Botzen and the Glacier Lake of 

Through the greater part of his life, he had suffered from weak 
sight, and therefore was frequently read to, and he dictated much of 
what he wrote. During his last ten years, he had the benefit of a 
very efficient secretary, a lady * gifted with a rare intellectual power. 
From her daily intercourse with one who never failed to inspii'e all 
those who were with him with a love of his science, she acquired 
an extensive acquaintance with the subject, which has since enabled 
her to popularise the study of natural science among young people.] 

* Miss Arabella Buckley, author of a Short History of NaturaX Science ; the 
Fair If Land of Science ; and L\fe and her Children, 

382 ^/^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxyil 

To W. Penoellt, Esq. 

63 Harley Street: Febmaiy 12, 1864. 

My dear Sir, — Mr. Alfred Wallace, whom yon know by 
name, told me the other day that there are limestone caves 
in Borneo, within reach of Bajah Brooke's jurisdiction, which 
deserve more than any in the whole world to be explored, as 
he feels sure they must contain the bones of extinct species 
of anthropomorphous apes most nearly allied to man, just 
as the Australian caves afford us fossil species of extinct 
kangaroos and other marsupials. He proposed to me to 
get the Royal Society to make a grant for the exploration of 
some one of these caves, and asked if I knew anyone prepared 
to undertake it, and could be sure that Sir James Brooke 
would encourage the exploration, if I would do my best. 
Do you not sometimes meet Sir James at Miss Coutts's, or is 
he not somewhere at Torquay ? No one could better explain 
than you the peculiar interest of such an inquiry, and if I 
could get Wallace into correspondence with him, we might 
perhaps find some adventurer with competent knowledge to 
undertake the enterprise and get the scheme into such shape 
as to enable us to appeal to the Royal and Geographical So- 
cieties, and perhaps get up a private subscription in aid of the 
object. It is precisely the kind of investigation which no sur- 
veyor sent out to find gold or tin or coal, or other products 
of economical value, would be justified in following up, or 
even giving to it a small portion of his time, and you well 
know how much time and patience it would require. 

Believe me, my dear sir, 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Geoege Ticznoe, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London: April 28, 1864. 

My dear Ticknor, — When I last wrote to you I had only 
read the first half of your * Life of Prescott,' and if I 
admired and enjoyed it exceedingly, you may well believe 


1864. RAJAH BROOKE, 3S3 

that the last half interested me still more, for while I think 
its merit as a biography is equally great, it had the 
additional charm to me of embracing the time when I knew 
Prescott personally, and so many of his friends. It was like 
living over again those years which we spent in America, 
which we always look back upon as among the happiest of 
our lives. 

I was very much struck with the skill you have shown 
in making Prescott tell his own story, and yet omitting 
those parts of his memoranda and letters which would have 
diluted the tale. As it stands, it is very racy and pithy. 

I am to-day going to meet Sir James Brooke, the Bajah 
of Sarawak, and Mr. Ricketts, the first consul appointed 
by the Government here to that new region, which has so 
suddenly started into commercial importance, for the sake 
of organising a scheme for exploring some caverns of lime- 
stone in the Rajah's dominions, from which they have 
hitherto got nothing but eatable birds' nests. But I feel 
persuaded that on examining the floor, deeply covered with 
guano or the dung of countless bats or vampires, they will 
find fossil bones ; and as we have obtained extinct kangaroos 
and other marsupials from the Australian caves, and extinct 
forms of armadillo, sloths, and American monkeys from the 
caves of Brazil, so I hope to get extinct ourangs, if not the 
missing link itself, from these Borneo explorations. Miss 
Coutts is a great friend of the Rajah, and we are all to meet 
at her house. She thoroughly enters into the spirit of the 
undertaking. If we can only get a few bones by a preliminary 
reconnaissance^ by aid of the Rajah's officers and dyaks, we 
should easily raise funds here for larger excavations. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Chasles Dabwin, Esq. 

53 Harley Street, London : November 4, 1864. 

My dear Darwin, — I was delighted to hear yesterday at 
the Athenaeum that the Council had decided that you were 
to have the Copley medal, for when it was not awarded to 
you last year I felt that its value had been much lowered. 

S84 S//i CHARLES LVEIX. chap, xxxvil 

and in mj indignation at the want of courage implied in 
their hesitation, I sympathised with a friend w^ho has long 
held that these medals do more harm than gxxnl, which, 
however, I have always been unwilling to believe.* 

In the present instance it is of more than usual import* 
anee, not in a purely scientific point of view, for yonr 
reputation cannot be the least raised by it in the minds of 
those whose opinions yon care for, or who are capable of 
judging for themselves as to the merits of such a book as 
the * Origin,* but because an honour operly conferred by 
an old chartered institution acts on the outsiders and helps 
to increase that stock of moral courage which is so small 
still, though it has grown sensibly in the last few jeare. 
Huxley alarmed me by telling me a few days ago that 
some of the older members of the Council were afraid of 
crowning anything so unorthodox as the * Origin.* Bat if 
they were so, they had the good sense to draw in their horns. 

Believe me ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lt£i«l. 

To Charles Darwin, Esq. 

Magdeburg : January 16, 1865. 

My dear Darwin, — I was so busy with the last chapters 
of my new edition of the * Elements * before I left town a 
month ago, that T did not reply to your kind letter about 
my after-dinner speech on yonr Copley medal at tlie Royal 
Society anniversaiy. I have some notes of it, and hope one 
day to run over it with you, especially as it was somewLnt of a 
confession of faith as to the ' Origin.' I said I had been forced 
to give up my old faith without thoroughly seeing my way to 
a new one. But I think you would have been satisfied with 
the length I went. The Duke of Argyll expresses in his 
address to the Edinburgh Royal Society very much what I 
have done (' Antiquity of Man,' p. 469), that variation or 
natural selection cannot be confounded with the creational 
law without such a deification of them as exaggerates their 
influence. He seems to me to have put the diflBculty pretty 
clearly, but on the other hand he has not brought out as 

3 [It will be obscn-ed this does not apply to the late awards of the medals.^ 


fully as I should have liked him to have done, the great 
body of evidence so admirably brought to bear in yoiur work, 
in proof of the bond of mutual descent, and the manner in 
which species and genera branched from common ancestors. 
He did not entertain this idea till he had read your book, 
and he is now evidently impressed with it, as I am ; and he 
would, I think, go the whole length, were it not for the 
necessity of admitting, in order to be consistent, that man 
and the quadrumana came from a common stock. He 
does, indeed, in defiance of consistency, admit for the 
humming-birds what he will not admit for the 'primates^ 
and Guizot's theology is introduced to support him ; but the 
address is a great step towards your views — far greater, I 
believe, than it seems when read merely with reference to 
criticisms and objections. The reasoning about materialism 
appears to me admirably put, and his definition of the various 
senses in which we use the term * law ' ; though, having only 
read the speech once, I am not yet able to judge critically 
on all these points. He assumes far too confidently that 
the colours of the humming-birds are for mere ornament and 
beauty. I can conceive a meaning in your sense for the 
advantage of the creature, or of its friends and enemies, in 
every coloured ray of light reflected from the plumes. We 
must indeed know far more than we do before we can 
dogmatise on the irrelevancy of particular colours to the 
well-being of a species. He ought also to define beauty, 
and tell us whether it is in reference to man or bird. I 
have no objection to the idea of beauty or variety for its 
own sake, but to assunie it so positively is unphilosophical. 

We have been about three weeks at Berlin, and T had 
some good geological talk with Ferdinand Eoemer, Beyrich, 
Von Koenen, Gustav Eose, Ewald, Dr. Roth, and Dove the 
meteorologist, besides Ehrenberg, Magnus, Lepsius, and 
Du Bois-Reymond, and an animated conversation on Dar- 
winism with the Princess Royal, who is a worthy daughter 
of her father, in the reading of good books and thinking of 
what she reads. She was very much an fait at the * Origin * 
and Huxley's book, the * Antiquity,' Ac. &c., and with the 
Pfahlbauten Museums which she lately saw in Switzerland. 
She said after twice reading you she could not see her way 

VOL. II. c 

886 S//i CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvii. 

as to the origin of four things ; namely the i^rorld, species, 
man, or the black and white races. Did one of the latter 
come from the other, or both from some common stock ? And 
she asked me >vhat I was doing, and I explained that ia 
recasting the * Principles ' I had to give np the independent 
creation of each species. She said she fully understood m? 
difficulty, for after your book * the old opinions had received 
a shake from which they never would recover.* I shall be 
very glad to hear what you think of the Dnke of ArgylFs 
comments on the * Origin.' I think that your book is a vast 
step towards showing the methods which have been followed 
in creation, which is as much as science can ever reach, 
and the Duke, I think, has not fully appreciated the advance 
which has been made, even in his own mind. 

I had hoped that a copy of the * Elements * would have 
been sent to you while I was still at Berlin. You will find 
much that is new, and nothing, I think, clashing with the 
* Origin.' Please read my description of the Atlantis theory. 
I fear I shall return and find the book still unborn, which is 
too bad of the pi-inter. Please let me know how your health 
has been during the last four weeks. 

Ever most truly yours, 


P.S. In an article in the Berlin * Punch ' on the Pope's 
encyclical, in which all the innovations which trouble his 
Holiness are enumerated, ' Die Darwinische Lelire die uns 
alle Affen macht ' was not forgotten. 

Dover: January ID. 

To Sir John IIerschel. 

53 Hurley Street, London. V\'. : January 31, 1865. 

My dear Sir John Herschel, — I was very glad to see 
your handwriting, and was on the point of writing to you on 
two subjects, to which I shall presently allude. The Irish 
siliceous rhomboids are remarkably regular examples of 
analogous results which I have seen in various countries 
where siliceous schists were traversed by divisional planes of 
cleavage, usually' referred to expansion and contraction by 
heat after the original consolidation of the mass. But as to 



the real causes, I have never been able to satisfy myself. 
Sometimes I have seen very large fragments of shapes 
similar to that which you send. I will show it at our next 
meeting to some of those who have made a study of such 
appearances, and then write to you again. 

The first question I wished to ask you, was whether you 
have read a memoir by Mr. J. CroU on the * Physical Causes 
of Change of Climate during Geological Epochs,' in the August 
number 1864 of the * Philosophical Magazine.' 

It is well worth reading, but I am specially called upon 
to allude to it because I am now re-editing the ' Principles 
of Geology,' the ninth edition of which has been out of print 
for several years, and which my publisher says ought with- 
out delay to be reprinted ; a more arduous task than he is 
aware of, since already eleven years have elapsed since the 
last version saw the light, and Darwin, among others, has 
done much to shake our old opinions since that time. 

In my eighth chapter, I repeated at p. 126 what I had 
said on your authority in preceding editions, as to the effect 
of the var3ring eccentricity of the earth's orbit. In your 
paper in the ' Geological Transactions,' vol. iii., you stated 
that the necessary calculations had not yet been made, but 
CroU now endeavours to found, on Leverrier's data, a differ- 
ence of one-fifth in the vrinter temperature when the extreme 
of eccentricity occurs. If you have not read his paper, I 
should like to send it to you by post, and should be glad to 
know how far you think I may rely on his facts and reasons. 
Of their applicability to geology, I may, perhaps, form an 
independent opinion. His reasoning as to the direction of 
currents and the assumption that the physical geography of 
the globe in the glacial period resembled that now established, 
is entirely at variance with what we know, as is the assumed 
periodicity of hotter and colder periods, from the Cambrian 
to the recent era. 

I feel more than ever convinced that changes in the posi- 
tion of land and sea have been the principal cause of past 
variations in climate, but astronomical causes must of course 
have had their influence, and the question is, to what extent 
have they operated? So far as we at present know, the 
glacial period of the southern hemisphere coincided with 

c c 2 

888 S/K CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxxfiL 

that of the northern, which would not be the case if it were 
refenible to the eccentricity of the orbit referred to by CroU 

As I must alhide to his paper, I shall be very glad to 
luivo your opinion on its merits. I daresay he sent yon an 
author's copy. The other point on which I am desirous of 
consnltinpf you relates to the earth-pyramids of Botzen in 
the Tyrol. More than forty years ago, at Dr. Fitton's I 
tliink, you showed me a drawing you had made of those 
cohnnns. I have never seen anything published on the 
subject, and meant to visit Botzen, and may, perhaps, be 
able to go there this summer. But in 1857 I saw some 
n^niarkable exhibitions of the same phenomenon in scire 
tributarj' valleys of the Upper Rhone, on my way to the 
gl;u!ier of Zermatt. I ascertained that the earth-pillars of 
Stalden in the valley of the Visp, a stream which mns down 
from Zermatt, belongrd to an old glacial moraine, which 
forms a terrace all along the right bank of the Visp, and 
consists as usual of unstiatified solid mud, with boulden 
rounded and angular, stuck irregularly in the muddy matrix, 
an<l where large blocks occur to form a capping, the rain has 
washed away some of the loose earth, and left pillars. An 
earthquake had occurred a few weeks before, which had 
thrown down chimneys and rent walls, the cracks beinff 
still open in the town of Brieg on the left bank of the Rhone, 
a few miles above its junction with the Vi^p, and these 
same shocks had thrown down some of the earth-pilhips at 

I therefore saw, with no small wonder, two isolated earth- 
pillars, one of which is called the Dwarf's Tower, or in their 
patois, ' Zwergle-Thurm,' a few miles from Brieg in a valley 
on the right bank of the Rhone. They are of exactly the 
same moraine-like structure as those of Stalden, the prin- 
cipal one thirty-six feet high, seven feet diameter, with an 
angular block at the summit about seven feet diameter and 
various other boulders sticking out from the sides. 

The slope of the hill-side is very steep, at an angle of 
about 13"*, a deep narrow glen, cut in mica-schist. If the 
two isolated columns mark the former position of a moraine 
of an extinct glacier, the entire removal of the rest of the 
moraine, and the subsequent excavation of several hundred 

186$. EARTH PYRAMIDS. 889 

feet of a narrow glen, are remarkable, and it is strange 
that an earthquake never threw down these columns ; but I 
suppose they are the last of hundreds that have been shaken 
down. If the pine-trees were cut down, they would have 
a most singular appearance. 

I could not find any rubbed or glaciated pebbles in the 
Dwarf's Tower, but I found some in the earth-pillars of 
Stalden. Oue block of gneiss, twenty-two feet long and t^n 
high, caps two pillars at Stalden quite in the Stonehenge style. 
The glaciation of some of the pebbles proves beyond a doubt, 
in the Stalden case, that the pillars are part of the moraine 
of one of the old extinct glaciers of gigantic size. I should 
like to see your drawing, or a copy of it. Have you ever 
published it ? I should like to give a woodcut of it, as 
contributed by you to my new edition, giving the date, for I 
suppose in forty years the rain has done something to alter 
it. I made some drawings of the Stalden and Dwarf Tower 
pillars which may be of some use as diagrams, but yours 
gave a much better idea of the appearance, and I have never 
seen any published engraving, though so much has been 
written about the old moraines. 

With our kind remembrances to Lady Herschel and your 
daughters, believe me ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Professor Heer. 

63 Harley Street, London: February 4, 1865. 

My dear Heer, — I was very glad to receive your kind 
letter, and your friendly acknowledgment of the receipt of 
my 'Elements' makes me feel that I ought long ago to 
have written to thank you for your ' Urwelt der Schweitz.' 
At Berlin I began the reading of your * Urwelt * with great 
care, and soon found how much the botanical and entomo- 
logical parts of my ' Elements ' had lost by my not having 
sooner gone to school in the pages of your excellent treatise, 
the merits of which I discussed with Professors Beyrich and 
Ferdinand Roemer, both of whom were already familiar with 
the ' Urwelt,' and fully appreciated its value and originality. 

390 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvii. 

After reading the first hundred pages I was interrnpt'ed, bat 
shall recommence very soon. 

When I say that the Fontainebleau sand shells are all 
ppecitieally different from the rich faliinianof the neighbonr- 
in«r Touraiiie, I speak after going into the question with 
Deshayes, Edward Forbes, Bosquet, and others. Your argu- 
ment founded on tlie corals of the Upper Miocene of the West 
Indies and European Faluns, showing that the ocean of the 
Miocene period could not have been vei'y deep, or could only 
have had a moderate depth, is well worthy of consideration. 
The afKnity of the corals seems to me against the existence 
of a continent, but it does require at least a great manv 
islands like the coral region of the Pacific (or Oceanica). 

I long to have your report on the Miocene plants of the 
Aniurland, a country where the living mammalia are now 
almost all of the same species as those living in Western 

When I have read more of your book I will send you 
more comments, and hope you will do the same in regard to 
mine. Your criticisms are the more valuable because I am 
now re-editing the ' Principles of Geolog}',' and am therefore 
going over much of the same ground, and have often no op- 
portunity of putting myself right. 

We are quite well, and my wife joins me in kind re^urds to 
you and your faniil}'. The sudden death of Dr. Falconer has 
shocked us much. He is a great loss to science, and much 
knowledj^e dies with him. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Chakles Lyell. 

To Sir John Herschel. 

W^ Hurley Street, London, W, : Febrnary 21, 18C5. 

jVFy dear Sir John, — The drawings ^ are most valuable, 
and it is tantalising not to be able to use all of them, or 
to liave only to extract telling bits of them. The Stulden 
case is pjirticularly good, because a portion of the moraine 
not yet divided into columns has two big stones lying at the 
top. But the beauty of the groups of the Botzen columns 

■ Of the Botzen eartli-columns. 

1865. THE PLANET MARS. 391 

is far greater. They are most elegant, and I cannot believe 
that the large undivided masses which you allude to, in the 
lithographed sketch of which unfortunately the date is not 
given, can be taken from the same point of view ; at least, 
that would imply a more rapid rate of waste than I suspect 
takes place. 

I hope to get to Botzen this year, and shall take your 
drawing and try to find your point of view, so as to judge of 
the amount of change in forty-four years ; if it is not very 
considerable, then the splitting up of the unbroken masses 
to which you allude cannot have taken place between the 
execution of the print and your visit. The Stalden one is 
of more interest to me at present, because I ascertained it 
to be the work of one of the old extinct glaciers, containing 
glaciated frai?ments of rock, so that ever since the era of 
extreme cold there has been no flood in this valley to inter- 
fere with the gradual formation of these columns by pluvial 
action. On this account it is valuable, because the columns 
go down so low, the base of some of them being only slightly 
above the river, which would not have been the case if a 
flood had ever cleared away the lower part of the moraine. 

As you have been looking into my new edition, I should 
like you to read Chapter XV., which is new, as it will give 
you some idea of the new part which fossil botany is 
playing, and the arguments for a Miocene Atlantis will, I 
think, interest you. I see that Professor Phillips has been 
reading a paper to the Eoyal Society on the appearance of 
the planet Mars at different seasons, and the quantity of 
snow in different years. Would it be possible to say whether 
at present there is a preponderance of land in polar as com- 
pared to equatorial latitudes in that planet ? Phillips has 
always ignored my cause — the varying distribution of land 
and sea as influential in accounting for former changes of 
climate, though he has never, I think, given any good reasons 
for slighting it. If in Mars, as weH as in the earth, land 
and sea are always shifting places, it may sometimes happen 
that the position of land and sea in the planet nearest the 
sun may be so favourable to cold as to counterbalance the 
effects of greater proximity to the great source of heat. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chasles Lyelii. 

892 S/H CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxtil 

To Thomas S. Speddino, Esq/ 

53 Harley Street : March 12, I8«5. 

Mj dear Speddin^, — Tt is always a ^i^reat pleasure for nie 
to hear from you, and so rare for me to difiPer from you in 
opinion that, had I not been four times across the Atlantic, 
and seen both North and South of the United States, I should 
doubt my own faith when I found you questioned its soundness. 

I must begin by stating that 1 entirely diiSer on the first 
point you lay down, namely, the right of Secession. I think 
it was about fourteen years from the first outbreak of the 
war with Great Britain, that the thirteen States tried to get 
on with such a constitution as might have justified any one 
of the independent States in seceding. But they found it 
would not do, and they then made a constitution which is as 
much violated by Secession as would our constitution be if 
Ireland, Scotland, Wales, or even Yorkshire should declare 
themselves independent because they were dissatisfied with 
a new Parliament, and complained that they were not fairly 

Pray understand me, that I admit that every people have 
the right of rebellion or revolution whenever they are op- 
pressed, or suffer such grievances as renders such an ex- 
treme measure natural. 

But you have only to read Vice-President Stephens' 
earnest address to the legislature of his own State (Georgia) 
he/ore the outbreak, when he tried to point out to them the 
folly of the proposed separation, to see that so far from 
having any just ground of rebellion, the South had been 
dominant to the last in foreign and domestic politics had 
always had the lion's share in the choice of Presidents and 
other civil appointments, and in officering the army and 
navy. In short they rebelled simply because Lincoln's elec- 
tion showed them that the Free-Soil or Republican party 
were at last determined to resist the extension of slavery 
into new territories, although they would still permit them 
to retain the institution at home, because they were pledc^ed 
to do so by the constitution. The Morrill Tariff was never 

* Of Mire House, Cumberland. 


put forth by the Southerners as a ground of complaint, 
although it was afterwards by Spence, who, as he was a paid 
advocate of the South, ought not to be compared to Goldwin 

The South had become very aggressive in regard to 
slavery when the North, who had too long yielded to them, 
determined to resist. No doubt the South were right in 
foreseeing that the non-extension of slavery into new regions 
would in the long run be tantamount to its extinction, or, at 
any rate, to their rapidly diminishing importance in the 
political scale. But this did not justify the rebellion. 

I differ from you as to our having ever had any proof of 
the unanimity of the South in favour of Secession. No one 
of the Southern States took the steps, which by their con- 
stitutions they were bound to take, in order to obtain a 
sanction for an organic change in their constitution, even for 
one of much less moment than Secession from the Union. 
I believe that the slave-owning oligarchy did not dare call a 
Convention and put the question to a popular vote. I doubt 
whether they would have carried it even in South Carolina, 
and feel sure that they would have been beaten in Georgia 
and Tennessee by large majorities ; the Negroes going for 
nothing, and the white population alone voting. Sherman's 
unopposed march through Georgia and South Carolina does 
not surprise me. You will grant that if the population in 
those parts of our island where the artisan and working 
class are most intelligent, and the Baptists and some other 
sectarians very numerous, had been polled, whether in the 
first or fourth year of the war, they would have given a 
majority of votes for the North ; and yet if our aristocracy 
had chosen to drag us into a war in favour of the South, 
they might have raised regiments out of the very class 
which felt most strongly for the North and against the 
slave-owners, and they would have fought with spirit when 
once excited, and fairly embarked in the feud. I have my 
fears as to the result in this country of a wide extension of 
the suflFrage ; but if the opinions of such a class as the arti- 
sans of Lancashire, Birmingham, Newcastle, Ac, were better 
represented in Parliament, the Government would have been 
more vigilant in preserving neutrality, and fewer * Alabamas' 



would have been built and allowed to steal out, and we 
should be in less danger now of a war, or at least of having 
to support additional taxes in order to be prepared for the 
worst after four years of insolent and malignant writing by 
such papers as the * Times ' and * Saturday Review,' which 
has estranged from us and embittered that party in the 
United States which had the greatest feeling* for Gngland, 
while it has done nothing to soften the hatred which millioDS 
of Irish birth, with the democratic party which side with 
them, cherish against us. 

There has been a great combination of motives which 
have led the aristocracy to tjike part against the North. 
The most inQuential, I think, has been a John Bullish desire' 
to see the dismemberment of a power which if it does not 
divide will soon interfere with British supremacy. Next in 
order comes a sincere wish, for the good of mankind as they 
think, for the failure of democracy. Thirdly, I think the 
Liverpool merchants, shipbuilders, and others were anxious 
for the destruction of the shipping of their rivals. Fourthly, 
the general ignorance (in great part wilful), of the ruling 
classes, of the real state of things in America, cannot be 
exaggerated, and if such men as Gladstone and Earl Russell 
had been only six weeks in the United States, they would 
never have said what they did. If you had lived among the 
Americans you would not have wondered at the loyalty they 
have shown for the Union, which outside of the New 
England States has had more to do with the spirit they 
have shown than the feeling against slavery. The two 
motives taken together — the integrity of the empire, and the 
non-extension, and for the last two years the extinction of 
slavery — constitute to my mind better grounds for a pro- 
tracted struggle than those t\)r which any war in our time, 
perhaps in all history, has been waged. Although I think 
the Irish might have rather a better case than the South- 
erners for repeal, yet I would fight for any number of years 
rather than let that island be independent of us ; and there 
is no Englishman who, if he had settled in one of the North- 
Western States of the Union, would not have the same 
feeling in regard to allowing the States at the mouth of the 
Mississippi to belong to some other power. How could the 


Joss of Bengal be compared to this, and yet how many 
thousands of lives and millions of pounds should we not 
have expended, rather than have allowed even India to 
secede ? If you visited America you would soon see that the 
vast majority have such a feeling of security of property, 
equality of rights and of religious sects, as makes them feel 
toward the Government as the rich and upper classes do 
towards our own, 

Lincoln and his colleagues are not the sort of men that 
you and I would put into a Cabinet, so far as their con- 
ventional manners are concerned, but you must recollect that 
this is not the feeling of ninety-nine in a hundred of the 
electors on the other side of the Atlantic. But after all, are 
Lords Palmerston, Clarendon, and some others, men of higher 
principle than Lincoln, or as high? I am intimate with 
men equal to any here in literary attainments and in polish 
of manners, and of independent fortune, in the United 
States, whom I used to wish to see in power instead of the 
coarser class into whose hands the reins of Government 
have been placed. But these men and the majority of 
capitalists would, I am sure, have knocked under to the 
South, and the slave-owner would have made a compromise 
by which his institution would have been more rampant 
than ever. If slavery, which was more injurious to the 
white man than to the Negro, and which to a certain extent 
poisoned the political institutions of the North, as well as 
keeping the South in ignorance, is got rid of, it will be 
owing to a very extended suffrage among a class which 
had had much instruction, for working men, but to whom 
the aristocracy of wealth and refinement were not pre- 
pared to make great sacriBces for such an object. Never- 
theless, when they were once embarked in the contest a 
very large proportion of young men of the highest attain- 
ments and fortune went to the war, many of them serving 
in the ranks, and this year after year, when the enormous 
sacrifices and danger which they incurred were thoroughly 

The * Times,* whose leaders against the United States 
were always copied into their newspapers, did much in one 
way to help the North. It made them feel that if they fell 

896 5/^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvil 

to pieces (and the Secession of the South once yielded would 
have been followed by other dismemberments), they would 
be treated by foreign nations, at l^ast by us, with that con- 
tempt to which the weak alone are exposed. The writers 
of the money articles of the ^ Times ' hoped to damage them 
financially, and they must have succeeded so far as to cause 
the English to sell out, instead of taking any of the new 
loans, about one-tenth of which has, I am told, been purchased 
by the Germans and other continentals. But the result has 
only shown how ignorant the ^ Times ' was of the wealth of 
the Union, as they have already borrowed some 300 million 
from themselves, and a fourth hundred million is now forth- 
coming, almost all from the same source. It is surprising that 
year after year the prophecies of the ' Times * correspondent as 
to the impending bankruptcy of the North, the impossibility 
of their obtaining any more men, and their disunion had 
been falsified, while the opposite statements of the corre- 
spondent of the * Daily News ' on the same subject were as 
regularly verified by the events, including the Presidential 
election, that the ' Times ' should have tolerated the con- 
tinuance in office of writers who must have associated with 
Confederate agents at New York. You do not seem to think 
that people in good society here have been * Times '-ridden, 
but 1 assure you I could always tell what people would think 
on each separate question and event throughout the war, 
if, before going to a party, 1 glanced at the leading journal ; 
and if, as often happened, incidents of great importance were 
under discussion, such as the treatment of prisoners by the 
Southerners, as proved before a eonimi!>sion, or the fact that 
only eleven per cent, of foreigners entered into the army, as 
officially shown, few regular readers of the * Times,' when told 
of the suppression of such documents, cared to know the truth, 
because it was disagreeable to have a chord struck out of har- 
mony with the antipathies which had been excited by their 
daily reading. They would sometimes tell you that life was 
not long enough to read more than one paper. The contrast 
in the feelings of the Germans, when last Christmas we mixed 
with the reactionary Tory party, as well as with the Liberals 
at Berlin, with the sentiment in good society here, was most 
striking, and Judd, the American Minister there, remarked 


to me how enviable was his position as compared to that 
of Mr. Adams in England. But had people read the * Daily 
News/ * Weekly Times/ and * Star/ in this country, as well 
as the * Times/ a state of feeling among the litemry and 
scientific men more like that which I found in Prussia would 
have prevailed. 

By the way, the ability, literary and political, with which 
the leaders of the ' Weekly Times ' have been written for 
the last four or five months, during which I have taken it, 
on European as well as American affairs, has struck me as 
marvellous for a penny paper. 

You cannot say too much of the spirit, courage, and 
military skill which the Southerners have displayed. They 
have certainly shown the power of an aristocracy to com- 
mand and direct the energies of the millions, and as by far 
the largest true Anglo-Saxon army that was ever organised 
in history, we may feel proud of their prowess, for there was 
not that large mixture of Celtic and German blood which 
was on the Northern side. I also respect men like Lee, who, 
after Secession was determined on, and after long and painful 
hesitation, decided that Virginia with its State sovereignty, 
and not the Federal Union, was his country. This doctrine had 
been carefully inculcated into the minds of the Southerners, 
a minority only of whom consisted of the mean whites, while 
the majority, such as formed the bulk of the soldiers of 
Stonewall Jackson, were good honest farmers, largely drawn 
from the upland country, having few, and sometimes no 
slaves, but very ignorant compared to the Northerners of the 
same class, even unable to read and write, because the planters 
wished them to be so, and they could seldom get a school 
within forty miles' distance, and then it was too expensive 
a one and meant only for the planters' children. Although 
a notion prevails here that refinement was the comparative 
privilege of the Southerners, they exhibited in truth a low 
form of civilisation. They have produced no historians, 
poets, great preachers, novelists, nor any literary men ; 
orators and politicians alone, for to those departments their 
aristocracy devoted themselves. The rebellion was chiefly 
brought about by a small number of ambitious men, many 
of whom while holding oflSce under the Federal Constitution 

39S S/m CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvil 

trejicherously prepared for Secession by filling' the Southern 
forts with cannon and ammunition, sending away ships of war 
to distant ports, &c. &c. These men, for whom so much sym- 
pathy has been shown, formed a party which has always given 
the most trouble to England, and if they are subjugated, it 
will be far more easy for the Northerners, who are industrious, 
and who Lave a distaste for military service, to keep the 
peace, provided we can stave oflF an outbreak for a few years. 
They will be Ix^und over by heavy recognisances to keep the 
peace, for at first the interest of their debt at 6 or 7 per 
cent, will be about equal to our own, and a terrible burden. 
But I am very hopeful, for there will be a great tide of free 
labour pouring into the South, where slave labour has 
hitherto had a monopoly. The resources of a magnificent 
territory will be for the first time developed, and havino", 
since I firet visited America, witnessed what has been 
done in Texas and California, which did not belong to 
the Union when we first went there in 1841, I feel sure 
that people here will be astonished at the rapidity with 
which the wounds will be healed when once the contest is 

My late friend M'llvaine, once secretary of the United 
States Bank, before the days of repudiation, used to assure 
me that the ignorance of the Washington Legislature of 
political economy, and their want of sound free-trade notions 
was extreme. They are showing this now, and have ao-g-ra- 
vated their debt by not being able to check the over issue of 
paper by the State banks, to say nothing of enormous corrup- 
tion of contractors and others. If one did not recollect our 
history in the war with France, and the Protectionists of 
thirty years ago, one might despair. But some adversity 
was wanting to improve and chasten the republic, and they 
will have it now. 

It is strange that Canada is so anti-free-trade, and makes 
me grudge expenditure in their defence. Australia, I fear 
is equally desirous of ' protecting native industry.' But we 
must have patience. I expect the military discipline to 
teach even civilians in the United States habits of subordina- 
tion to central authority, which they needed, and that the 
large debt will strengthen the Federal power which formerly 


could not control the States from buccaneering and other 

Had the States been dismembered, there would have been 
endless wars, more activity than ever in breeding slaves in 
America, and a renewal of the African slave trade, and the 
future course of civilisation retarded on that continent in a 
degree which would not, in my judgment, be counterbalanced 
by any adequate advantage which Euiope would gain by the 
United States becoming relatively less strong. 

You must recollect that from the first I had a deep con- 
viction that the North would be staunch for the Union, and 
for non-exi!lBDsion of slavery, and that they must prevail, 
having such vast odds, not only of wealth and numbers, but 
of knowledge and intelligence on their side. 

I believe that if a small number of our statesmen had 
seen what I had seen of America, they would not have 
allowed their wishes for dismemberment to have biassed their 
judgment of the issue so much. Certainly I never reckoned 
on the South being able to make so splendid a stand, which 
will be memorable in history; but then you must recollect 
that I took for granted that Lincoln would never attempt 
general emancipation. When abolition was exchanged for 
non- extension, we could not reasonably have expected that 
to be can-ied without four or five years of war, or what was 
equivalent to a conquest of the South. The result, I think, 
will be worth all this dreadful loss of blood and treasure. 
As to the internal happiness of the States, so long as they 
are not divided by hostile tariflfe, and are not forced like the 
Europeans to keep up ruinous standing armies during peace, 
I am sure that had you travelled in the United States you 
would feel, as I do, that their political organisation, with all 
its faults, does not prevent their rapid and successful develop- 
ment. Whatever it may be for the rich, who have shown, 
however, their loyalty to the constitution in this war, I 
certainly think that for the millions it is the happiest 
country in the world. 

As for their external policy, it has hitherto been mainly 
guided, not by a democracy, but by a slave-oligarchy. But 
when that is got under, there is another curse, which like 
slavery they owe to this country, and that is the millions of 

400 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxni 

Irish, who thougfh their condition is wonderfully iniproTed 
by the schools and good wages which they obtain there, 
form a class to whom the suffrage ought never to have been 

As to the foreign policy of the United States, could it be 
more selfish and aggrandising than that of Bismarck, or of 
France when they appropriate Savoy to themselves; and 
have we much to boast of? Italy was not helped by us to 
make the step she has made. But all this you will grant, 
and you will say that it only shows the danger of too much 
power wielded by any one corntry. But as I always felt sure 
of the success of the North, I have been vexed at what I 
consider the folly of this country doing so much to irritate 
the better class of Americans. We have, at the cost of 
soveral millions a year of taxes for the rest of our lives 
indulged in four years of vituperation of a people who were 
doing exactly what we diould have done, and it will be 
unnecessary now for the Americans to make war with us* 
they have simply to bide their time, and whenever we get 
into a quarrel with any power, they have only as neutrals to 
imitate us, and the whole of our commerce will be swept off 
tlif* seas. I hold that it is by the ignorance even more than 
to the prejudices of our ruling class, that this state of things 
hiia been brout^ht about, and it has been partly owing to the 
monopoly of influence by one single journal, which 1 think 
tolls far more in an affair of this kind than the Cabinet or 
even the Legislature. 

Believe me, my dear Spedding, ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

P.S. That there were never more than eleven per cent, 
of foreigners in the Federal army, I have from the American 
llinisier, Mr. Adams. But this does not of course include 
born citizens of the United States of Irish and German 
par(jnts. It only disproves the absurd charge of the Federals 
having fought with a hireling force, which people in good 
society still believe here. 

i865. THE FLYSCH. 401 

To Pbofessob Heeb. 

63 Harlej Street: March 16, 1866. 

My dear Heer, — I have been frequently citing jour very 
instructive * XJrwelt der Schweitz,' in the new edition of my 
* Principles of Geology/ and I am now referring to what . you 
say of the huge blocks found at many points in the Flysch. 
This ' Flysch,' which I studied at Vienna, Salzburg, Genoa, 
and elsewhere, has always perplexed me much. You say 
truly that to suppose glaciers when the climate as indicated 
by the organic remains was so hot, would be a violent hypo- 
thesis. The absence of organic remains, and suspension of 
life in the seas during a glacial episode, might be conceived, 
and I should be inclined to imagine this, if I could rely on 
the facts which you give as to the large blocks of lias, oolite, 
granite, gneiss, talcose rock, &c., observed in the conglomerates 
of the Flysch. 

I should be very glad if you could assure me that there is 
no doubt of large-sized angular blocks having been seen 
fairly embedded in the Flysch. I am well disposed to believe 
it after having seen them in the Italian Miocene. 

You will be glad to hear that our friend Dr. Joseph 
Hooker has succeeded to his father at Kew, and is now fairly 
installed as the head of that department, which is becoming 
every day more and more creditable to this country as a 
scientific institution. 

A good dissecting-room and a regular paid anatomist has 
been added to the Zoological Gardens, which will now become 
a good school of comparative anatomy, as so many rare 
animals die there. I am very busy at present, trying to 
make up my mind how much former changes in the eccen- 
tricity of the earth's orbit may have exaggerated the winter's 
cold, and helped to cause a glacial period. 

Did I tell you, when I last wrote, that Agassiz has found 
roclies moutonnSes in the Organ Mountains near Rio Janeiro ? 
If there were glaciers in that latitude, how did the existing 
tropical plants survive the chill of the glacial period ? It 
seems improbable, according to Darwinian or any other 
principle, that the peculiar and distinct tropical vegetations 
of Australia, South America, and Africa should be all of post- 



glacial origin. There has not been time for sach an amoimt 
of development of creational power, unless iv^e admit the 
doctrines of the paroxysmal ists. 

Believe me, my dear Heer, ever most truly yours, 

Chablbs Ltell. 

To Mb. Pengellt. 

Munich : Jnlj 26, 1865. 

My dear Mr. Pengelly, — I hear from Mr. John Mooie, that 
yon have written an important paper about the Trade-winds, 
Gulf- stream, Sahara, &c. As you may not have had separate 
copies to give me one, I shall depend on your teUing me in 
what Journal I can buy it, for it is a subject which I am 
working at. Is it not singular that the hot water of the 
Tropical Indian Ocean should, as we are told, flow ronnd the 
Cape of Good Hope, across the Atlantic to Brazil, while the 
water of the Gulf of Mexico flows NW. towards the polar 
regions ? If the Equatorial Sea, north of the line, sends its 
hot water towards the Arctic regions, the Equatorial Sea, 
south of the line, ought to send its warm waters towards 
the Antarctic latitudes. I suppose it. is the geographical 
conformation of the land, and bottom of the sea, that causes 
this different behaviour of the southern and northern 
currents. If you have been studying the trade-winds vou 
can perhaps enlighten me. I presume that if there were no 
such winds, the heated tropical waters expanding and becom- 
ing lighter, would flow towards the north and towards the 
south from the equator, while cold under-currents would be 
flowing in opposite directions. 

Believe me ever tmly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To SiE Charles Bunbuey. 

Dover: August 31. 1866. 

My dear Bunbury, — I had expected to write to yon from 
Calais, but we found it answer best to come over and sleep 
here. We have had rather a rough passage, but are aU 
pretty well recovered, and waiting for our luggage from the 
Custom House. The Kissingen waters have done me as yet 

1865. ALETSCH LAKE. 403 

neither harm nor good. Our Alpine tour answered very 
well. The weather upon the whole favourable, and I 
accomplished the only two geological points I was bent on 
clearing up. First the pyramids of Botzen, and the similar 
earth-pillars of several places in the Vallais, or rather in the 
ravines of small tributaries to the Upper Rhone; and 
secondly, to see the Glacier Lake of Aletsch, and whether it 
would throw any light on the parallel roads of Glen Roy, 
which it does most decidedly ; a large terrace being formed 
exactly on a level with the Col which separates the valley of 
the said Aletsch Lake from another valley, that of the Viesch 
Glacier. Some persons have shrunk from the idea that the 
drainage of the old Glen Roy lakes was effected in a direc- 
tion opposite to that by which the valleys are drained where 
the parallel roads occur. This is just what actually happens 
when the Aletsch Lake, or Marjelen See, as they call it, is 
blocked up by a barrier of ice, and gets quite full. It then 
flows over a Col, or rather the stream issuing from it passes 
over the Col on a level with the terrace bounding the lake. 
I luckily saw the lake forty feet lower than usual, and was 
able to examine the structure of the great shelf which is 
level with the Col. 

As to the earth-pillars, I had made up my mind before, 
that those of Stalden, near Zermatt, were remnants of a 
moraine of one of the great extinct glaciers, and I can prove 
that every other case agrees as to origin in glacial time. 
Some of the columns are from sixty to eighty feet in height. 

Such a thickness of coherent unstratified mud, with the 
requisite accompaniment of erratic or capping stones, could 
scarcely be found in any but a glacial formation. 

Leonard has been a most agreeable companion. He has 
got on in German as well as in geology. 

We shall start for the Birmingham Meeting on Tuesday 
next, and return to town on Saturday, where I shall much 
enjoy being stationary after so much wandering. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

B D 2 

401 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvil 

To Sib John Hekschkl. 

63 Harlev Street : NoTember 28, 1865. 

My dear Sir John Herschel, — I have offcen been on the 
pr-int of writing to tell you the result of my comparison on 
the spot of your excellent drawings of the Stalden and Bitten 
earth-pillars and pyramids, with the scenes which they now 
present after nearly half a century. I shall no^v dictate a 
few words on the subject to my amanuensis, having found it 
nrcessary this last year to abstain as much as I can from 
using my own eyes, whether in reading or writing, by which 
moans I get on well, and seem to have acquired a new lease 
f<»r my eyes, and for ordinary purposes they feel much as 
they used to do. 

I took my eldest nephew, aged fifteen, with me on my 
hist expedition to Switzerland and the Tyrol, which added 
much to our pleasure, for he is quite an enthusiast in geology, 
conehology, chemistry, and mineralogy. 

Except occasional attacks of lumbago, I am battling well 
with sixty-^ight years, but am obliged to be very careful of 
inyself. Kenieniber us kindly to Lady Herschel and your 

Believe nie, dear Sir John, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

I found the Stalden columns when I first saw them in 
1858 had suffered greatly from the earthquake of 185-5, 
which had rent the walls of houses in the town of Visp, some 
of tluan not repaired when I was there. The principal 
cai)piii^ stone had been thrown down, and many others 
probably loosened, for great havoc had been made in the 
seven years between 1858 and 18G5. I suspect that but for 
this shock I should have found as many pillars as you saw. 

I convinced myself that the unstratified mass in the 
vallt^y of the Visp, and another on a still grander scale in 
the valley of the Borgnc, which leads to Evolena near Sioo, 
ill tlu^ Vallais, are the moraines of old extinct glaciers. It 
is not merely the absence of stratification and of all organic 
remains, but decidedly glaciated stones, pebbles, and erratics 
which bear out this opinion. The same holds true with the 


Botzen red mud, where I found all the same proofs of a 
morainic origin. 

I could get no good photograph of these last, and no 
engi-avings in the least degree comparable to your drawings. 
I am therefore very desirous of availing myself of your per- 
mission to use your drawing of the Ritten pillars, perhaps 
as a frontispiece to my new edition. I took much pains to 
try and ascertain the exact point of view from which you 
took your sketch. I often thought I had discovered it, and 
it was not till the last day that it occurred to me that you 
must have been looking up the ravine, whereas I had made 
up my mind you were looking down, in consequence of the 
view which I got from the bridge the first day answering so 
nearly to your representation, making allowance for such 
slight differences in the columns as 'forty years might well 
bring about. Have you sufficient recollection of the place 
to be atle to tell me, first, whether you are looking up the 
stream; secondly, whether on ascending the valley one 
would pass between a and h ; thirdly, is not the torrent 
entirely hidden from sight by the wood ? I conceive that 
it would go to the bottom between the principal groups of 
pillars in the line from a to r, then from c to (2, and then in 
the line rf, e, /; but of this last I am not sure, for there 
hardly seems space between the foreground on which the 
tree e stands and the opposite rock g. As I presume that 
the size of the copy you sent me agrees with that of your 
original drawing, the tracing which I enclose will suffice to ^ • 
show you what I mean, as my letters would in that case be * 
exactly opposite the points in your original to which I 

1 suspect that the scene has not altered materially, not 
even in any of its details, since you were there. 

400 S/f! CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx\iii. 


JANUARY 1866-APRIL 1868. 
ox c;eological changes op climate— ticknor's • bpanish literattbe*— 



[This year, 1866, he made excursions to the coast of Suffblk, to 
Weymouth, and later on to Forfarshii*, i-etuming south by Whitby. 
He received the Wolhuiton Mediil at the Geological Society for 
eminence in his science. 

In 1867 tlie Exhibition was held in Paris, and after going there, 
he went later on to Scotland, and attended the British Association at 
Dundee. The tenth edition of his * Principles of Geology,' much 
enlarged, was brought out this year in two volumes. 

In the yivir 1868 he made expeditions in various pai-ts of 
Enj^land, and was at the Norwich British Association, and afterwards 
Sir Charles and l^ady Lyell spent September at Tenby and its neigh- 
bourhood wuth his brother's family.] 

To Professor Heer. 

h'^ Har'cy Street, I^ndon : January 21, 1866. 

My dear Heer, — I am much obli^jod to you for your letter 
to me announcing the death of our friend Gaudin, for whom 
I had a sincere regard, and who was one to whom I always 
felt drawn so much, that had I seen as much of him as you 
did, his departure would have made an irreparable void iu 
the circle of my friends. He was indeed a most loveable 
person, and he would have occupied a very leading place in 
science if he had had more leisure to devote to it, and 
had his health and physical strength been more on a par 
with his talents. 


I should have written sooner to thank you for your 
valuable pamphlets, but I have been very much absorbed 
with a new theory of changes of climate dependent on varia- 
tions in the eccentricity of the earth's orbit. I am called 
upon to give an opinion as to the influence of this cause in 
a new edition which I am preparing of the * Principles of 

I by no means abandon my old doctrine, that the prin- 
cipal cause of former fluctuations in temperature, and of 
warm and glacial periods, has been tlie ever-varying position 
of the sea and land ; but it is now ascertained that the ex- 
treme distance by which the earth sometimes deviates from 
a circular orbit is such as to carry it away 11,000,000 of 
miles from the sun in aphelion, instead of 3,000,000 as at 
present, and Mr. Croll of Glasgow has pointed out that the 
cold of winter in aphelion would be very intense during such 
maximum eccentricity. 

I ought to have said that this 11,000,000 of miles oc- 
curred 230,000 years ago, and was not the extreme possible 
maximum, which I believe would be 14,000,000 of miles. 
The proximity of the earth to the sun in perihelion would 
be proportionally great ; but Mr. Croll maintains, and with 
some reason, that most of this excessive heat would be ex- 
pended in melting part of the accumulated ice of winter, 
and this process would cause so much fog and cloud as to 
prevent the intensity of summer heat from overcoming all 
the effects of winter's cold. When I have worked more 
upon the tables which the Astronomer Royal is having cal- 
culated for me, I will let you know more about it. 

I received very lately your beautifully illustrated paper 
on the * Pflanzen der Pfahlbauten.' Tour opening address 
of last year to the Zurich Natural History Society interested 
me greatly. Among other things your remarks on the flora 
of the interglacial period. I am very glad to hear of your 
forthcoming work on the * Plants of the Chalk,' and I hope 
you will be able to devote a portion of it to the fossils col- 
lected by Dr. Debey at Aix-la-Chapelle, for I begin to despair 
that we shall ever have any account of them unless you 
undertake the task. 

My friend Professor Huxley is preparing a paper on 

408 Sm CHARLES LVELL. CHAP, xxxviil. 

the five new genera of reptiles discovered in fhe ancient coal 
of the county of Kilkenny, in Ireland ; there are eight or 
nine species, all of these new, some of them four or five feet 
long, of various forms, one of them with small fore feet like 
a siren, and abortive hind feet, having the shape of an eeL 

All the genera are of the labjrinthodont iamily, and 
therefore, though they have well-ossified vertebral columns, 
their low place in the scale accords well enoagh ^th the 
theory of progressive development. At the same time, when 
you recollect that ten or twelve years ago no single reptile 
was known from a rock so ancient as the coal in any part of 
the globe, one cannot reflect on the rapidly increasing num- 
ber of these carboniferous amphibia without being prepared 
for the discovery of some more highly organised vertebrata 
of the like antiquity. 

Believe me, my dear Heer, ever very faithfully yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To Charles Dabwin, Esq. 

53 Harley Street : March 10, 1 S66. 

My dear Darwin, — Your precious MS. has arrived safe. 
I will return it registered in a few days. I am much obliged 
to you for the privilege of reading it ; and in regard to the 
notes prepared for the new edition, I am amused to find 
how many of the topics are the same as those treated of in 
the letters of yourself, Hooker, and Bunbury, in commenting 
on the observations by Agassiz of marks of glaciation in the 
Organ Mountains. By the way, you allude to Hooker's dis- 
covery of moraines in the Sikhim Mountains, which I be- 
lieve are only about 7° farther from the equator than the 
Organ Mountains. It is very interesting to read Hooker's 
letter dated 1856, and to see the impression which the MS. 
made on him, causing him to feel, as he says, ' shaky as to 
species ' so long before the * Origin * was published. We 
certainly ran no small risk of that work never seeing the 
light, until Wallace and othera would have anticipated it in 
some measure. But it was only by the whole body of doc- 
trine being brought together, systematised, and launched at 

1866. FOSSIL BOTANY. 409 

once upon the public, that so great an effect could have been 
wrought in the public mind. 

I have been doing my best to do justice to the astrono- 
mical causes of former changes of climate, as I think you 
will see in my new edition, but I am more than ever con- 
vinced that the geographical changes are, as I always main- 
tained, the principal and not the subsidiary ones. K you 
snub them, it will be peculiarly ungrateful in you, if you 
want to have so much general refrigeration at a former 
period. In my winter of the great year, I gave you in 1830 
cold enough to annihilate every living being. The ice now 
prevailing at both poles is owing to an abnormal excess of 
land, as I shall show by calculation. Variations in eccen- 
tricity have no doubt intensified the cold when certain 
geographical combinations favoured them, but only in 
exceptional cases, such as ought to have occurred very 
rarely, as paleontology proves to have been the case. 

Ever most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To SiE Chables Bunbubt. 

63 Harley Street : September 3, 1866. 

My dear Bunbury, — I have been so absorbed in my 
proofs and new climate chapters, that I have been writing 
to no one, but must tell you a piece of botanical news 
which has interested me much. In recasting my chapter on 
* Progressive Development,' I have stated that there was no 
unquestionable case of an Angiosperm so old as the carboni- 
ferous period. Mr. Carruthers of the British Museum, on 
reading my proof, told me that he had just seen in Edin- 
burgh a specimen from the coal-shale of Granton, which is 
an imdoubted Monocotyledon, and which has been figured 
some years ago in the ^Transactions of the Edinburgh 
Botanical Society,* under the name of Pothocites Orantoniiy 
Dr. Paterson having named it with the approbation of 
Greville and other authorities of Auld Beekie. Mr. Eippist, 
Librarian of the Linnsean Society, showed me coloured plates 
of various species of Pothos, and of allied genera of the 
Aroide&e, to prove that sometimes the spathe is some way 

410 Sl/i CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxvin. 

from the bottom of the flower, and therefore that the 
broken-off part may, as Paterson supposes, represent the 
spathe. After this I shall not despair of your Antholite 
being augiospermous. But how rare are such specimens! 
about one in a million. Agassiz has written an interesting 
paper on the * Geology of the Amazons,' but I reg^-et to say 
he has gone wild about glaciers, and has actually announced 
his opinion that the whole of the great valley, down to its 
mouth in lat. 0, was filled by ice, and dammed up by a 
moraine since destroyed by the sea, by which* means he 
accounts for freshwater deposits such as we find in the 
valleys of the Mississippi and Bhine. He does not pretend 
to have met with a single glaciated pebble or polished and 
striated rock in situ, and only two or three far-transported 
blocks, and those not glaciated. As to the annihilation 
during the cold of all tropical and extra-tropical plants and 
animals, that would give no trouble to one who can create 
without scruple not only any number of species at once, but 
all the separate individuals of a species capable of being 
supported at one time in their allotted geographical pro- 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles LiTell. 

To Dr. Joseph Hooker. 

73 Harley Street : October 20, 1806. 

My dear Hooker, — I am sure there is some screw loose 
in all the climate theories now afloat. When I send you mj 
thirteenth, or astronomical chapter, you will better under- 
stand one of the principal diflBculties, arising, I think, from 
the estimates made by Herschel and Poisson of the heat 
received by the earth from the sun, as distinct from the 
assumed heat of space. If they are right, the difference 
between the sun's heat in the northern hemisphere and in 
the southern oijght to be very great, even with the present 
eccentricity, and five times greater, as CroU says, with a 
maximum eccentricity, and the winter's cold ought to be in 
proportion. But if it were so, the monkeys would never 
have lived through the cold of the last period of maximum 


eccentricity at tLe tropics. But I suspect that the vapour 
to which you alhide, and on which Tyndall has written so 
much, may equalise the heat and cold caused by greater 
proximity to, and distance from, the sun. 

I hope you will have patience to read my thirteenth 
chapter, as I know you will tell me frankly what you 
think of it. It has cost me a great deal of time, for I had 
to go to school in astronomy, and moreover many of the 
things it was necessary to learn were not to be found in the 
ordinary elementary books, and I had to writ^ to Airy and 

Without John Moore's assistance, I should never have 
got on. 

With many thanks, 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Geoege Ticknor, Esq. 

73 Harloy Street, London : February 8, 1867. 

My dear Ticknor, — I have been looking through your 
* Spanish Literature ' in search of some remarks which I 
had fancied you had made on the effects of the Inquisition 
in sacrificing the lives of so many men of superior mental 
power, and the moral and intellectual deterioration of the 
Spanish population which it produced. 

But although I have found passages relating to the 
mischief done by the systematic persecution persevered in 
for centuries, it strikes me that I have missed the place I 
was in quest of. Possibly it was in some one of Prescott's 
works. At any rate I will tell you in what manner I was 
desirous of applying the exterminating action of the Inqui- 
sition to the subject I have now in hand. 

You have read Darwin on the * Origin of Species,' and 
know what he means by natural selection. If it were pos- 
sible so to frame the institutions of a country, that the 
population should be chiefly kept up by breeding from those 
individuals, male and female, which are the best morally 
and intellectually ; this selection would tend, according to 
Darwinian principles, to improve the race, and if an opposite 

412 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap. xxx\m 

system were persevered in an opposite result mig'ht be ex- 
pected. Perhaps the best experiment hitherto made is that 
which we owe to the Inquisitors, and the result in regard to 
the deterioration of the race is perhaps as satisfactoiy as 
Darwin could desire. Yet even in Spain there have been 
so many disturbing causes that the experiment has been 
very incomplete. Many aspiring and powerful intellects 
naturally went into the Church, and is it not true that 
their vows of celibacy were sufficiently set at naught to 
allow the children of such ecclesiastics to constitute no 
insignificant part of the population ? Can you give me any 
facts as to children of eminent ecclesiastics who were ac- 
knowledged by their parents as such ? Have you any idea 
of the numbers who perished by the hands of the Inquisitors, 
and for how many centuries this went on, and what may 
have been in round numbei*s the population of Spain at the 
period of the most severe persecution ? Of course a large 
number of those who were sacrificed would not have great 
claims to superiority, but it would be enough for my purpose 
if as a whole they constituted that portion of the people who 
were superior as independent thinkers and inquirers, and had 
more moral courage and character than the ordinary herd. 

The argument would turn in a great degree on statistics, 
and some of the data are not obtainable, especially the 
extent to which each generation was recruited from the 
clergy. It may be said that although the Spaniards are 
doing so little now in literature, and nothing in science, 
and producing no great statesmen or men of commanding 
genius, yet we cannot be sure that the race has sufiPered 
serious degradation, or that if like Italy they could be set 
free, they might not be found as capable as ever of yielding 
a crop of great men. But Italy has been kept down by 
foreign domination, whereas Spain has had fair play, and 
very little meddling from without. It seems to me therefore 
that selection has really done its work, and that a race has 
been produced as incapable of keeping pace with the progress 
of the age, or boldly originating new ideas or questioning 
the truth of old ones, as orthodoxy could desire. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

1867. HUMMING-BIRDS. 413 

Extract of Letter to A. Wallace, Esq. 

May 2. 1867. 

I forgot to aek you last night about an ornithological 
point which I have been discussing with the Duke of Argyll. 
In Chapter V. of his * Beign of Law ' he treats of humming- 
birds, saying that Gould has made out about four hundred 
species, every one of them very distinct from the other, and 
only one instance, in Ecuador, of a species which varies in its 
tail-feathers in such a way as to make it doubtful whether 
it ought to rank as a species — an opinion to which Gould 
inclines — or only as a variety or incipient species, as the 
Dnke thinks. For the Duke is willing to go so far towards 
the transmutation theory as to allow that different humming- 
birds may have had a common ancestral stock, provided it 
be admitted that a new and marked variety appears at once 
with the full distinctness of sex so remarkable in that genus. 
According to his notion the new male variety and the female 
must both appear at once, and this new race or species must 
be regarded as an * extraordinary birth/ My reason for 
troubling you is merely to learn, since you have studied the 
birds of South America, and I hope collected some humming- 
birds, whether Gould is right in saying that there are so 
many hundred very distinct species without instances of 
marked varieties and transitional forms. If this be the case, 
would it not present us with an exception to the rule laid 
down by Darwin and Hooker, that when a genus is largely 
represented in a continuous tract of land, the species of 
that genus tend to vary? In regard to shells I have always 
found that dealers have a positive prejudice against inter- 
mediate forms, and one of the most philosophical of them — 
now no more — once confessed to me, that it was very much 
against his trade interest to give any honest opinion that 
certain varieties were not real species, or that certain forms, 
made distinct genera by some conchologists, ought not so to 
rankl Nine-tenths of his customers, if told that it was not a 
good genus or good species, would say what they wanted 
was names, not things. Of course there are genera in which 
the species are much better defined than in others, but you 
would explain this, as Darwin and Hooker do, by the greater 


4' 4 S:.\ CIiA.\LES LYEJLL, CHAP, xxxviii. 

Irrrih • f ::—•=• 'l-r::-z T«^L:oh ther have existed, or the 
i:r-i*.r-r ^ ■■.:vl:r of t-.-r.ani^vs- or jinic or inorgunic, which have 
tak-:n |i!u'.-r in :Le r^z3« li ir.Lacited bj the generic or familr 
tv]-ir in .';-;-r*:i'.'a. The XLiaT-ufaetorr of uew species has 
CTiSrrd '.r i.r:iirly hc\ aLJ iii iLat case I snppose a varietj is 
ii;or«i likely t«.i I*- orirf of the transitional links which has not 
ve: been •-xrizijui^brrd than the first step towards a new per- 
manent nx*:r or allied ^fiecirs. Selater gave me EuplocamM 
>/ir^iii'.'/iJ« and E. KuKniH4 as an example of two distinct 
sj-.-eies — Teiiassr-riin and Pejra — which pass throagh everr 
int»rmie*liiite varl»^ty in the intervening country of Arracan; 
but when I a.>ked if it was proved that the two extremes of 
thp seri»'S wi.uM not intercross and produce fertile hybrids, he 
said the exp»-riiii»'nt had not been fairly tried. I suppose 
we have a ^rxjd deal to do before we get all the facts which 
we shall one day probably have in confirmation of the theory 
of transuratati«'n, or of such a divergence as will be accom- 
panied by the sterility of hybrids. It may require seversd 
hundred thousand years. M' Andrew told me last night 
that the littoral shells of the Azores being European, or 
rather African, is in favour of a former continental extension- 
but I su.^pect that the flouting of sea- weed contain in <▼ their 
»-jL|fgs may disp«*nse with the hypothesis of the submersion of 
1,200 miles of land once intervening. I want naturalists 
carefully to examine floating sea-weed and pumice met with 
at sea. There should be a microscopic examination of both 
these means of transport. 

Charxes Ltell. 
To Sir Charles J. T. Bunbury. 

73 Harloy Street, London : Julv 9 I8t)" 

My dear Bunbury, — I have been reading your essay on 
' South American Vegetation ' in ' Fraser ' with great interest 
and i)r()fit, and am very glad that Kingsley has succeeded 
in persuading you to take up your pen again, and let the 
public benelit. by your store of scientific knowledge. It was 
no easy task to render popular the botany of a country of 
which so few even of the genera are known even to a great 
many who are ac'(j[uainted with European plants. I re- 


member Hooker experiencing the same difficulty in his 
Himalayan book. But you have managed to make the 
most of the araucarias and calceolarias and fuchsias, and 
by describing the Desfontanea in such a way that one can 
see it. 

You have put life into the paper by what you have said 
of the wide range of some plants, and the discussion whether 
they are varieties or species, and by the geographical and 
geological speculation, especially the migrations of plants 
along the Andes during the glacial period. 

I should have liked you to have gone a little more in one 
direction into the great question of whether species are 
derivative, or are primordial creations. I was in hopes you 
would have pointed the moral, when you spoke of two 
features in South American botany to which you properly 
call attention. First, the manner in which the vegetation as 
it goes south from the tropical region of Brazil still con- 
tinues to be Brazilian, instead of new genera and species fit for 
temperate latitudes making their appearance ; and secondly, 
the invasion of European immigrants into the Pampas — a 
wonderful fact, and which would not, I think, have happened 
if plants were specially created for each country instead of 
being modified forms of types already there, and dating from 
an older geological period. It is marvellous how exotic 
genera thrive best as a rule, both animals and plants, and 
Darwin has, I think, well explained why. But perhaps this 
would have led you into too wide a digression, even if you 
bad been as thoroughly imbued with the transmutation 
creed as I am beginning to be by writing my second 

Believe me, my dear Bunbury, 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Chasleb Darwin, Esq. 

73 Harlcj Street : Aaf^ist 4, 1867. 

My dear Darwin, — I must write a word before starting 
to-morrow morning for Paris, to thank you for your last 
letter, and to say what a privilege I feel it to be allowed to 

416 Slli CHARLES LYELJL CHAP. xxxviiL 

read your sheets* in advance. They go far bejond my 
anticipations^ both as to the quantity of original obnervation, 
and the materials brought together from such a variety of 
sources, and the bearing of which the readers of the ' Origin ' 
\iill now comprehend in a manner they would not have done 
had this book come out jBrst. The illustrations of the 
pigeons are beautiful, and most wonderful and telling for 
you, and the comparison of the groups with natural &milie8 
difficult to divide will be most persuasive to real naturalists. 
The rabbits are famously worked out, osteology and alL 
The reason I have not got on faster is, that I have been 
correcting the press of my recast of Mount Etna, which I 
have reviewed twice since my former edition of fourteen 
years ago, also the Santorin eruption of 1866, and my grand 
New Zealand earthquake, which produced more permanent 
change than any other yet known. I have also had to 
rewrite my chapters on the * Causes of Volcanic Heat,' the 
* Interior of the Earth,' Ac. But all this is in the printers' 
hands, and I can now give myself to variation and selec- 

Believe me, my dear Darwin, ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To tlie Rev. W. Stmonds. 

73 Hiirley Street, London : October 20, 1867. 

My dear Symonds, — I think I told you last year that 
Huxley received a specimen of his genus Hyperodapodon 
(first founded on an Elgin fossil contemporary with Teler- 
peton and Stagonolepis)from the New Red of the neighbour- 
hood of Warwick. The discovery was made just in time to 
enable Sir Roderick to cancel and recast some pages of his 
new edition of ' Siluria,' in which he had defended his old 
position, that the higher sandstones of Elgin were Old Red. 
I was pleasantly reminded yesterday of the expedition we 
made together to the Elgin district by a discovery which 
Huxley had just made, that among some fossils sent from 
central India this same Hyperodapodon had made its appear- 
ance in those beds studied by Hislop, and which had already 

> The Variation of Animalt and Plants under Domutioation, 

1 868. FOSSIL FAUNA. 417 

been supposed to be Triassic, because they had aflForded us 
several Dicynodons and Labyrinthodons. You remember 
that the first Dicynodons found at the Cape of Good Hope 
by Bain were conjectured by him to be Triassic, but this 
was thought a mere guess until the same genus was found 
in India associated with Labyrinthodon. Is it not curious 
that the united evidence got from Elgin, Warwick, the Cape, 
and central India should leave so little doubt as to the true 
age of the beds in all these regions ? Charles Moore has 
found land shells about the age of what they call on the 
Continent Infra-Lias. The evidence, now that his paper is 
being printed, seems strengthening. You of course heard 
that my friend Dawson, requested by me to search in that 
carboniferous stratum containing Pujpa vetusta in abundance, 
has found in it a Helix of the sub-genus Zonites. Think 
what persistent types Pupa and Helix are thus proved to be, 
and how little we know of air-breathers older than the 
tertiary which these revelations must convince us existed, 
though we continue to be so marvellously ignorant of them. 
Believe me, my dear Symonds, ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To De. Bence Jones. 

April, 1868. 

My dear Dr. Bence Jones, — I will endeavour to comply 
with your request, to give you in writing my reminiscences 
of Faraday during a short time when I was associated with 
him on a commission of inquiry. We had been requested 
by the Grovemment to attend a coroner's inquest, and report 
on an unusually fatal colliery accident, which occurred in 
September 1844, at Haswell, about seven miles east of 

Instructions were given us by Sir James Graham, then 
Secretary of State for the Home Department, and we were 
to inquire into the causes of the explosion, and if possible to 
suggest the means of preventing the occurrence of similar 
catastrophes in future. You will see that it is twenty-four 
years since the event happened, and although I have occa- 
sionally spoken to you and others on the subject, you will 
make allowance for any shortcomings in my recollections, 

VOL. u. E E 

418 SIR CHARLES LYELL. CHAP, xxxviii. 

when I tell you that I have no notes to refer to, nor any 
letters written at the time. Various incidents, however, 
occurred, while we were engajjed on this mission, well 
calculated to draw out Faraday's character, and they made 
a lively impression on my mind, the more so as I had never 
had an opportunity of knowing him except in his laboratory, 
and because I was not prepared to see him play his part 
with so much spirit and self-reliance, when suddenly 
launched into a new sphere of action. I had been ac- 
quainted with him for many years, and yielded to no one in 
my admiration of his talents and my appreciation of his 
scientific eminence ; but I had always looked upon him as a 
singularly modest and retiring person, and one who would 
shrink from the stir and responsibility of such an under- 
taking as that in which we were about to enter. He had in 
truth undertaken the charge with much reluctance, but no 
sooner had he accepted it, than he seemed to be quite at 
home in his new vocation. In a few hours after he had 
agreed to accompany me, we were carried by a fast railway 
train to the scene of the catastrophe, and were immediately 
introduced to the coroner and his jury, who were in the 
midst of their inquest. 

Faraday began, after a few minutes, being seated next 
the coroner, to cross-examine the witnesses with as much 
tact, skill, and self-possession as if he had been an old 
practitioner at the Bar. He seemed in no way put out or 
surprised when the most contradictory statements as to fact 
and opinion were given in evidence, according to the leaning 
which the diflFerent witnesses had, whether from a desire to 
screen or exculpate the proprietors, or be regarded as 
champions of the pitmen. The chief question was whether 
any undue considerations of economy had induced the owners 
of the mine to neglect such precautions as are customary 
arid indispensable to the safety of the men employed in the 

We spent a large part of two days in exploring the 
subtei-ranean galleries where the chief loss of life had been 
incurred, that we might satisfy ourselves whether the means 
of ventilation had been duly attended to. We conversed 
freely with the workmen and overseers, and Faraday especi- 


ally questioned them about the use of the Davy-himp. We 
had both of us been much struck with the uneducated condi- 
tion of the men examined on the inquest, and suspected that 
they would not so fully appreciate the dangers to which they 
were exposed as workmen who were better instructed. Few 
of them could write, and one even of those who had been 
promoted to the place of * master Avasteman,* had been 
unable the day before to sign his name as witness. 

Among other questions, Faraday asked in what way they 
measured the rate at which the current of air flowed in the 
mine. They said they would show us. Accordingly one of 
them took a small pinch of gunpowder out of a box, as he 
might have taken a pinch of snuflF, and, holding it between 
his finger and thumb, allowed it to fall gradually through 
the flame of a candle which he held in the other hand. A 
little cloud of smoke began immediately to traverse the space 
between two of the loose wooden partitions by which the 
gallery we were in was divided into separate compartments. 
When the smoke reached the end of the nearest compart- 
ment, his companion, who had been looking at his watch, 
told us how many seconds had transpired, and they then 
calculated the number of miles per hour at which the 
current of air moved. Faraday admitted that this plan was 
sufficiently accurate for their purpose, but, observing the 
somewhat careless manner in which they handled their 
powder, he asked where they kept their store of that article. 
They said they kept it in a bag, the neck of which wad tied 
up tight. * But where,* said he, * do you keep the bag?' 
*• You are sitting on it,' was the reply ; for they had given 
this soft and yielding seat as the most comfortable one at 
hand to the commissioner. He sprang upon his feet, and 
in a most animated and impressive style, expostulated with 
them for their carelessness, which, as he said, was especially 
discreditable to those who should be setting an example of 
vigilance and caution to others who were hourly exposed to 
the dangers of explosions. 

As it fell to my lot te examine inte the geological struc- 
ture of the rocks in which the mine was worked, I had 
enirasred several of the men to collect for me the more 
abundant fossils. When they brought these to me, chiefly 

H K 2 

420 S/K CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxviii. 

pliints, and were very inquisitive about them, I told them 
what I knew of their characters, and how far they were 
allied to families of living plants. I entered on this the 
more fully when I found that my fellow commissioner was 
no less desirous than the men to be informed on the subject. 
As I was going away, after having paid the men for their 
trouble, I was about to throw away .all the specimens which 
had been collected. Faraday, perceiving this, begged me to 
wait till the men were out of sight, as he said their feelings 
might be hurt if they saw that nothing had proved to be 
worth keeping. He had been much pleased with the in- 
telligent curiosity they had shown about the nature of the 
fossils, and equally struck with their entire want of informa- 
tion respecting them, although it was evident that they had 
thought and speculated much on the frequency and meaning 
of such remains in the rocks, and had not been satisfied with 
the only hypothesis which had been suggested in explana- 
tion, namely, that they had been washed there at the time 
of the Deluge. 

Hearing that a subscription had been opened for the 
widows and orphans of the men who had perished by the 
explosion, I spoke to Faraday on the subject, and found 
that he had already contributed largely without having said 
anything about it to me. He apologised for this, saying 
that he feared I might think it necessary to give as large a 
sum as himself, whereas I ought not to be guided by his 
notions on such matters, which would be generally regarded 
as peculiar, and which he shared with members of the re- 
lii^iouH community lo which he belonged. In our conversa- 
tion with the miners we had been often embarrassed by the 
number of local terms used by them, and by their conflicting 
statem(»iits as to the methods and precauticms commonly 
adopted in the ventilation and management of coal mines, 
I therefore proposed that we should call in to our assistance 
an experienced surveyor of mines of my acquaintance, re- 
siding in a distant part of the country, one who is now no 
more, and who, in obedience to our summons, came to us at 
once. By his help we were rendered much more indepen- 
dent in forming a judgment on several points at issue be- 
tween the proprietors and the men ; but unfortunately our 


1 868. HA SWELL COLLIERY. 421 

new assistant, when his services were ended, undertook with- 
out communication with us to draw up an elaborate report 
to the Government, setting forth extensive schemes of his 
own of legislative interference with the working and inspec- 
tion of all the coal mines in Great Britain. This he would 
have sent in to the Secretary of State, as if oflBcially 
authorised to do so, had we not heard of his intention in 
time to interdict such a proceeding. Presuming on tlje 
kindness with which Faraday had treated him, and the 
marked mildness and modesty of his manner, he evidently 
thouofht he mi^jht take the lead as if he had been at the 
head of the commission, and he must have been surprised at 
the firm and decisive manner in which his forwardness was 
checked. On our return to town we found the Home OflBce 
besieged with an extraordinary number of letters from in- 
dividuals, and addresses from local committees formed in 
the mining districts, each proposing a diflfcrent plan for the 
prevention of colliery accidents. Many of the schemes were 
scientifically unsound, and most of the rest implied such an 
outlay of money as if insisted upon by law would have led 
to the shutting up of the mines. 

It was natural that Sir James Graham, then fully occu- 
pied with his ordinary official business, should wish to refer 
all these documents to us, while on the other hand we saw 
clearly that unless we fixed on some limit to the time we 
were willing to give to duties of this kind, we might be in- 
volved for an indefinite period in controversial correspondence 
on such matters which were equally uncongenial to both of 
MS. Faraday had been engaged in experimental inquiries 
in which he took a deep interest, when he had thought it 
right to interrupt them by agreeing to take part in the 
commission ; but he explained to me that no pecuniary re- 
muneration would compensate him for a further suspen- 
sion of his investigations, and he believed that the improve- 
ment in the management of coal mines might be as well or 
better promoted by others whom the Government might 
employ. We therefore determined that our labours should 
cease with the sending in of our report. When this was 
finished Faraday asked me to sign first, because my name 
stood first in the commission, I begged him not to insist 

422 S/R CHAHLES LYELL, chap. xxx^•IIl 

on this, as it would place me in a false position, seeing thai 
the brunt of the work had unavoidably fallen to his share, 
his remarks on the ventilation of mines comprising what 
was really valuable and original in the report. In fact, mj 
contributions had been restricted to a few words on tht 
geologry of the rocks, and some concluding recommendations 
that steps should be taken to instruct the workmen in the 
elements of those sciences, such as chemistry, pneumatics, 
and geology, which were intimately connected with their 
occupation. My fellow commissioner had agreed with me 
that the safety of the miners would be increased if they re- 
ceived such instruction, and with more knowledge those 
prejudices would disappear which always impede the adop- 
tion of any change of system. Faraday at last agreed to 
sign first. It was in fact by mere accident that my name 
stood before his in the comn)ission. Sir Robert Peel bavins 
sent first to me to know if I would go to Haswell, and when 
I pointed out to him how much more the questions at issue 
would turn on points of cheniistiy and physics than on 
geology, he determined to ask Faraday to go also. Through- 
out the whole proceeding I found Faraday willing to take 
more than his share of the work and responsibility, and to 
be verv indifferent as to the amount of credit assigfned to 
him. I was often astonished at the number of hours in the 
day for which he was able to keep his mind on the full 
stretch, for I was aware that two or three years before he 
had been obliged to abstain entirely from mental exertion in 
consequence of having overtaxed his powers. 

Our companionship on this commission left on my mind 
a lasting impression of the amiability of his temper and the 
versatility of his genius. 

From that time I saw him as frequently as was consistent 
with his rules of secluding himself from general society, and 
up to the time of his death he always received me, when we 
met, on the footing of an inthnate friend. 

Very truly yours, 

Charles Ltell. 



APRIL 1868-NOYEMBEB 1868. 


To the Rev. W. S. Symonds. 

Southend : April 29» 1868. 

My dear Symonds, — I have been going over with much 
pleasure the geology of the coast sections of Hampshire 
between Southampton and Poole, and between Poole and 
Swanage. One cannot too often contemplate the numerous 
proofs of fresh and shallow water in the dense Purbeck and 
Wealden strata, covered as they were afterwards by the deep 
sea of the Chalk, and the splendid leaf beds of the Lower 
Bagshot with their fan-palms, cinnamon laurels, and ferns, 
overlaid by the purely marine Barton clay or Upper Bagshot. 
The ferns of these Eocene pipeclays retain not only their 
sari, but in each dot or fruit bag you can, under a powerful 
microscope, count the spores as distinctly as in the fruit of a 
living frond. The Purbeck beds are not only rippled, but the 
calcareous slabs have preserved on their under side fine casts 
of the sun-cracks of the clay beds below. I carefully 
examined in the cliflF that single dirt bed, or old soil, only six 
inches thick, in Durlston Bay near Swanage, in which Brodie 
and Beckles found more than a dozen species of mammalia. 
There is no discovery which to my mind speaks so eloquently 
of the fragmentary nature of the record, and of the know- 


424 S/H CHA JULES LYELL. chap, xxxrx. 

ledge that may one day be rescued even from the shreds 
which have been spared to us, than this thin, ancient layer 
at the base of the Middle Purbeck. Whenever you have 
an opportunity, visit the Blackmore Museum at Salisbury, 
and get Mr. Stevens, the curator, to show it to you. Even 
since I mentioned it, I found some splendid antlers of the 
reindeer at Pisherton, that grand repository of a paleolithic 
i'auna. I am delighted at the idea of your being vdth 
Leonard and me at Tenby. I hope to attend the first half 
of the British Association, which will begin at Norwich 
August 19. 

Sincerely yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Professor Heer. 

73 Harlej Street, London : Jnne 7, 1868. 

My dear Heer, — Yesterday we had our anniversary 
meeting at the Greenwich Observatory, and one of the 
astronomers remarked to me, that although the inclination 
of the earth's axis must have been constant for such periods 
of moderate duration, as for example, a few tens of 
thousands of years, yet if you come to millions, there is 
nothing in the facts at present observed in astronomy to 
preclude the supposition of a change in the axis. I told 
them not to go too fast, for although the flora arctica showed 
a luxuriant forest vegetation near to the pole, and vines in 
high latitudes, there were as yet no fan-palms, much less a 
Phoenix pahu, as in the Miocene of Switzerland, so that if 
they could plnce the polar circle under or near the equator 
in Miocene times, they might create as many difficulties as 
they would remove. 

What you told me in your letter of April 7 of your * Flora 
Baltica ' was very interesting. I got so well acquainted with 
the deciduous cypress, or Taxodinm distichumj in the swamps 
of the Lower Mississippi, that your finding that verj^ species 
in the brown coal of the north of Europe makes me seem to 
understand the state of things which then prevailed. I am 
only afraid that a hundred species of these fossils will give 
you too much hard work. I am glad you are able to com- 

1868. 'ACADIA: 425 

pare some of the Bovey Tracey species with those of other 

Believe me, my dear Heer, ever truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

P.S. I ought to have thanked you for your beautiful 
paper on the * Chalk of Moletrin in Moravia,' and for the 
beautiful plates which illustrate it. 

To Principal Dawson. 

London : July 1, 1868. 

The new edition of your * Acadia' is a work of which 
you may well feel proud, and I am much pleased with the 
re-dedication of the book to me. I have not yet had time to 
study the chapters on the * Fossils of the Carboniferous and 
Devonian Rocks ; ' you did well to give a restoration of 
the flora of the latter in the frontispiece, not omitting the 
insects. It marks the great step which has been made 
in our science in twelve years, and it is remarkable, as you 
say, in how many points Acadia is prominent in geology, 
even if, as I suspect, the Eosaurus may turn out to be Laby- 
rinthodont. The Conulus is also a grand addition, and^ a 
wonderful proof of a persistent type. 

In regard to the antiquity of man, I have great faith in 
the judgment of the Danish naturalists as to the long dura- 
tion of the Neolithic period in their country. The extensive 
peat bogs have been well searched, and although they can- 
not draw a precise line between the accumulation of peat in 
the last eighteen centuries, and that of pre-historic date, 
they can yet form a tolerably correct notion of the relative 
importance of the accumulation of the two periods. To 
suppose a rotation of crops in the forest trees to have been 
brought about by general conflagrations is too catastrophic 
to suit my notions, and would require some monuments of 
the work of fire. The absence in all Scandinavia, where they 
have collected so many thousands of implements, of a single 
specimen of the paleolithic type of oval hatchets, or spear- 
shaped unpolished tools, is a very strong negative proof of 
man not having entered that country in the ancient period 
of the mammoth. Farther south the evidence is steadily 

42G S//^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxix. 

augmenting in favour of the great geographicjal changes 
which have taken place since England, Trance, and other 
parts of Europe v^ere inhabited by the earliest fabricators of 
the paleolithic tools. 

The Duke of Argyll has argued in an article in * Good 
Words,' that as the stone period of the Esquimaux coincided 
in date with the iron period of London and Paris, so the 
ancient flint folk north of the Alps may have been contem- 
porary with men of a more advanced civilisation farther 
south, and he wishes to make out that the stone age may be 
connected with degradation, and the driving out of a surplus 
population into regions having the worst climate. But when 
we go south of the Alps, and examine the drift containing 
the bones of mammoth and other extinct mammalia, as at 
Borne, or near Madrid, or in Sicily, we find stone implements 
of the ancient type instead of the monuments of an iron age. 
Lately, in the Presidency of Madras, our Indian surveyors have 
found on the coast abed of Laterite at the height of 600 feet 
above the sea level, containing quartz hatchets marvellously 
similar in size and shape to the flint implements of Amiens. 
Certainly there are no sims in warm latitudes of a civilisation 
like that of old Nineveh or Egypt having flourished at such a 
remote date as to allow of great subsequent changes in climate, 
or in physical geography, or in the mammalian fauna. 

What think you of the alleged discoveries going on in 
the American continent, or in the auriferous gravel of Cali- 
fornia, in which bones of Mastodon, according to Dr. Snell, 
together with some implements, were found in the deep 
places of Table Mountain ? These old alluviums have in one 
respect a more ancient aspect than our higher level valley 
gravels, as they belong to a period when the drainage was more 
distinct in direction from that of the present rivers. This, 
however, would not prove a higher antiquity, because the 
overlying basaltic lava shows that great volcanic action was 
going on in the same country, which would greatly accelerate 
geographical changes. You have done well to point out that 
there was a stone and reindeer period in Nova Scotia, only 
three hundred years ago, in the latitude of central and 
southern France. 

What you have written on the glacial period I like much, 


and I am sometimes disposed to attribute the numerous lakes 
of jour country to submarine current and ice action, but I 
do not see my way as yet. I should like to know what may 
be the velocity of these currents at the bottom. 

Charles Lyell. 

To Lady Bunbuey. 

73 Harley Street: July 26, 1868. 

Dearest Frances, — I have just been installed in my new 
chair, which they have adjusted beautifully to my height and 
other requirements, and when I am tired of reclining on the 
sofa which you gave me, I shall be glad to indulge in sitting 
in this new piece of furniture which you have so kindly 
added to my study. Many thanks, dear Frances, for thinking 
of such luxuries for me. I have also to thank your husband 
for having referred me to Buckle on the ' Conversion of Henri 
IV.' It is really curious to compare the parallel passages in 
Buckle and Motley. That in Buckle is exceedingly eloquent^ 
and has of course some truth in it, but the tone of morality 
in Motley is higher. I only get on with the latter by 
snatches, but am very much interested. I agree with 
Charles in wondering whether Philip II. could possibly have 
deceived himself to such an extent as to believe he never 
injured any man knowingly. The historian is evidently 
much puzzled^ and tries to make out that he thought himself 
a god, and there may be something in that. When Motley 
sums up all his misdeeds, I rather wondered that he omitted 
that glaring act of repudiation of all his heavy pecuniary 
obligations which he was guilty of a year or two before his 
death. The misery he must have caused by that was so 
great that it might have made him think he had injured 
some even among the most orthodox of his subjects. It 
helped to explain to me how the military power of Spain 
failed to crush the Dutch republic. The narrative of the 
polar voyages was very new to 'me. The siege of Ostend 
very well told ; such a skilful suppression of uninteresting 
details. If you have not read it, do indulge in this history. 
Believe me your affectionate brother, 

Charles Lyell. 

428 S/H CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxix. 

To Principal Dawson. 

73 Harley Street: Jolj 31, 1868. 

My dear Dawson, — I hope that long before this you have 
got my letter, written in the beginning of this month, in 
which I spoke of the first part of your * Acadia,' which I 
have since been reading steadily with increased pleasure and 
profit, and which I find Etheridge is reading with equal 
satisfaction. It is so full of original observatiofi and souud 
theoretical views, that it must, I think, make its way, and 
will certainly be highly prized by the more advanced scien- 
tific readers. 

I think Huxley's doctrine of Homotaxis * would never have 
been put forth in such strong terms had he been more of a field 
geologist. What we have to remember is, that our records are 
so fragmentary; that at sevei*al intervals all memorials of 
minor periods of vast duration, as measured by centuries, may 
be wanting ; and on comparing the coal-period of New South 
Wales or China with that of Nova Scotia, it is conceivable 
that no one stratum or set of strata in one of these regions 
may be strictly contemporaneous with any one in the other 
region. But the whole may have been formed in all three 
areas between the close of the Devonian and the bt^ginning 
of the Permian periods. The more our Indian surveyors 
advance, the more do they become persuaded that they have 
, in the Himalaya counterparts of several of our European 
siibdivisions of the Lias and Oolite, and on comparing the 
northern and southern hemispheres, the proofs of real con- 
temporaneity of similar formations, as opposed to homotaxis, 
are growing stronger. 

You have done well to give that wonderful section of the 
South Joggins in detail. I certainly think that a thickness 
of 16,000 feet implies the existence and waste of great 
continental areas and of large deltas. The evidence of sub- 
aerial conditions is overwhelming, and I always think with 
pleasure of the privilege of having seen in the Great Dismal 

* * Similarity of Arrangement.' See Anniversary Address to the Geological 
Society, 1862, by Professor Huxley. 


Swamp such accumulations of pure vegetable matter going 
on, and hundreds of fallen and prostrate trees rotting away. 
I am also glad to have observed, near New Madrid, so many 
areas where hundreds of erect trees submerged ever since 
the earthquake of 1811, are still standing erect and leafless 
in the water. 

What amount of subsidence must we imagine to allow of 
the superposition of strata 16,000 feet thick ? Must we 
have a sinking to that amount? In all great deltas the 
tendency of conversion into dr}' land by the deposition of 
sediment must be counteracted in those areas where there is 
a suspension of such deposition by the condensation of mud 
into shale, loose vegetable matter into coal, and loose sand 
into more compact sand and sandstone. When, therefore, 
fifty generations of your Sigillaria have accumulated un- 
interruptedly, there will have been a subsidence owing to 
the materials below having been gradually pressed down and 
packed into a smaller space, quite independently of a general 
sinking down of the earth's crust in that quarter. This 
may help the coming on of those conditions which produced 
the lagoons in which the Naiadites and Serpula flourished. 

I had forgot to say how surprised I was that Leslife^ 
whom I have seen lately here, should have raised such 
strange objections to some of your conclusions. We know 
over how vast an area the Appalachian coal-measures ex- 
tend. Suppose them to be 3,000 feet thick, and that the rate 
of subsidence was two and a half feet in a century, as 
soon as the river or rivers coming from where the Atlantic 
nr^w is filled up a certain space, it would push the delta 
farther on ; but if the rate of sinking was five feet instead of 
two and a half, the mass of sediment deposited would be 
thicker near the old land, instead of a larger area of sea 
being reclaimed. If the Nova Scotia coal-measures are 
thicker than those of other regions, it does not prove that 
the quantity of mud and sand was greater, but that the rate 
of sinking was such as to cause the deltas to be limited in 
horizontal extension. I cannot see what objection there can 
be to isolated basins ; there may have been many independent 
rivers, like those which enter the Gulf of Mexico. If dif- 
terent coal-basins of the United States resemble each other. 

430 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxix. 

as I presume Leslifl^ means to say, it ought to be a relief to 
him to find Nova Scotia is exceptional as to thickness ; for a 
general uniformity would be the real puzzle, for it would 
imply that corresponding movements in the earth's crust 
extended simultaneously over a large part of the northern 
hemisphere, of which we have no counterpart in the present 
state of things. 

Ever yours, 

Chakles Lyell. 
To ihe Rev. W. S. Symonds. 

Tenby : September 10, 1868. 

My dear Symonds, — As my sister, Mrs. Lyell, is writing 
to you, she will tell you about my brother's illness and the 
consequent uncertainty of our stay here. If he recovers I 
shall hope to carry out our scheme of seeing something of 
the geology of this part of the world with you, and you will 
give us as much notice beforehand as you can of your own 
intended movements. I should like much to know what you 
think of the relations of the strata here, and with those of 
Devonshire. The limestone on which Tenby stanc's was 
called by De la Beche carboniferous, and the few fossils 
which I have seen from it, such as Produdu^ Scoticus, seem to 
confirm that view. Then the true coal-measures overlie. 
The millstone grit I have not yet been able to make out, 
but there is a break in the section of the cliff here between 
the mountain limestone and the coal, in which there may be 
sandstone and grit which I may find in the interior. Below 
the mountain limestone at Manorbier, we saw yesterday 
some 500 or 600 feet of vertical red shale and red sandstone, 
with some beds of green shale, and a few whitish beds of 
quartzose grit ; this is named by De la Beche Old Red, 
which it resembles exactly, and though we saw hundreds of 
strata finely exposed, we could not see a single fossil in it. 
But at the junction of this formation and the carboniferous 
limestone at Skrinkle Haven, nearer to Tenby than Manor- 
bier, there are several hundred feet of fossiliferous beds, in 
which limestone, red shale, quartzose grit, conglomerate, 
blackish shale, alternate again and again, many of the beds 
containing teeth and scales of fish^ some of them Orthis and 

1 858. VISIT TO TENBY, 431 

Rhinconela, which we have not had time to collect in, and see 
whether the fossilb are Carboniferous or Devonian. If they 
are not Devonian, are we to conclude that in going from 
Devonshire to Pembrokeshire all the Devonian beds are 
lost, and nothing but the true Old Red left between the 
Silurian and Carboniferous? I forgot to say that in the 
junction bed there are ripple-marked sand and shrinkage 
cracks, showing what shallow water preceded the deep-sea 
condition of the carboniferous limestone, in which last we 
have seen several corals, especially Caryophylia. 

Mr. Smith of Gumfreston says the limestone here is 
divisible into three masses, one of them, qy. the uppermost, 
characterised by Encrinites, another by Corals, and among 
them LitJiostrotion baaaltiforme, 

Leonard is working away both at the recent shells and 
older rocks. The first three days more than fifty species of 
the former picked up on the beach, and their number 
always increasing. They throw much light on the Crag. 
They who study tertiary geology, and who do not begin at 
this end, are like children taught Greek and Latin before 
they have learned a word of English. 

I am summoned to join a party. 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To the Duke op Argyll. 

Tenby: September 19, 1868. 

My dear Duke of Argyll, — I have just read with great 
interest your spirited and clearly written article in reply to 
Wallace on *Nidification.'^ If I did not feel sure that portions 
of it will be embodied in some of your future works, I should 
grudge its being placed in a periodical just struggling into 
existence, though it may perhaps be most usefully published 
in the same journal as the paper whicli it controvei'ts. I 
objected in my * Antiquity of Man ' to what I there called 
the deification of natural selection, which I consider as a 
law or force quite subordinate to that variety-making or 

• 'A Theory of Birds' Nesta,* by Alfred R. Wallace. Journal of Travel and 
JfahtnU Biittr^, No. 2. 

4:J2 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxix. 

creative power to which all the wonders of the organic world 
must be referred. I cannot believe that Darwin or "Wallace 
can mean to dispense with that mind of which you speak as 
directing the forces of nature. They in fact admit that we 
know nothing of the power which gives rise to yariation in 
form, colour, structure, or instinct. 

But before Darwin had written his first work, I used to 
maintain that there was a meaning and utility in every one 
of the marks and shades of colour in the butterfly's wing, 
and I still think so. It may be inherited after it has ceased 
to be useful or indispensable. The explanation offered by 
Darwin of the dull colour of most female birds appears to 
me a great step. The assumption that birds and mammalia 
of the same si)ecie8 vary in colour both in a wild state and 
under domestication is not imaginary, but founded on fact. 
A breeder might give rise to a race of white pheasants; but 
natural selection would not allow of such a race, because 
they would be too conspicuous, at least under ordinary con- 
ditions, and in the present state of the world. How far 
sexual selection is one of the causes of modification of colour 
is a point on which I never could form any opinion. I was 
sui-prised when I first saw the importance which Darwin 
attached to it. He seemed to me to exaggerate at least its 
2)r()bable influence. It does not strike me that Wallace's 
tlieory requires that there should be a tendency whether 
in cocks or hens to produce bright hues, but merely that in 
the course of time, and among the millions which will be bom, 
individuals will be gifted with plumage of every tint from 
the brightest to the most dull, and that those varieties that 
are ill suited for the conditions prevailing at any given time 
or place will be killed off, while the fittest will sun'ive. 
There is no necessity of supposing any consciousness on the 
part of the birds of the bad effects which certain conspicuous 
colours would produce. 

That we should ever come to know so much of the system 
of nature as to be able to give a reason for each particular 
variation of colour is more than could be expected; but 
Darwin has been making vast progress in this direction, and 
the discovery that plants with bright and conspicuous 
flowers require the aid of insects to fertilise them, while 


those which are inconspicuous are fertilised by the wind, 
appears to me a grand generalisation. I believe he also 
finds that the odoriferous plants, and those which afford 
honey, require insects for their impregnation. 

What you say of hereditary habit being in each individual 
as independent of experience or observation as are instincts, 
is most true ; but if we could trace such a habit to a remote 
progenitor, and show that he acquired it under some new 
conditions in the physical world to which he was subjected, 
the insight thus gained into the history of the origin of 
certain instincts would be a great gain to the naturalist. 

Although the advocates of natural selection often ascribe 
too much to that one cause, it has enabled them at any rate 
to assign a reason for many phenomena which would never 
have been brought to light by those who are satisfied with 
saying that all things were pre-ordained to be as they are. 
You are certainly not one of that school, and it appears to 
me that the reason which you assign why some of the 
smallest birds having sombre and neutral tints build donae- 
shaped or covered nests is very satisfactory, and so far as I 
know, original, and I shall be curious to know whether 
Wallace will not be forced to admit that in all these cases 
it is a better theory than the one which he had proposed. 

In some of the passages which you have cited from 
Wallace you have shown that he is obscure and perhaps 
illogical. In others the discordance of opinion arises, I 
suspect, from the fundamental difference of the point from 
which each of you start. The assumption of special creation 
would make the origin of all things simple ; but if once a 
naturalist taking all the geological evidence into account 
inclines to the opposite view, that of transmutation, as more 
probable, we are led to speculate on the manner in which 
the present instincts, habits, structure, and colour came to 
be gradually acquired by each species, living under the sur- 
rounding conditions which are not those that prevailed in 
the period immediately antecedent. The transrautationist 
may reasonably hope that we shall get to understand more 
and more the working of those forces by which nature 
brings about changes in the organic and inorganic world. 
The part played by natural selection, which was almost en« 

VOL. II. F p 


tirely OTerlooked by Lamarck, is evidently very importai 
and I now indulge a hope that the working of other aeco 
dary cauaes, hitherto not attended to, will help to expla 
many perplexing phenomena which these who are satisGi 
with special creation would never bring to light. 

We are much relieved by hearing thia morning ftt> 
Arthur Milman a decidedly better accoant of the Dean < 
St. Paul's. 

Believe me, my dear Duhe, ever most truly youra, 

Chablbs Ltbll. 

To iha Key. W. S. Stmonds. 

Tenbj : September 28, ISeS. 
My dear Sjmonda, — I have juat returned with Leonan 
from a very Buccesaful expedition to St. David's, when 
Dr. Hicks devoted the beat part of three daya to show ai 
some 2,000 feet of strata, most of them fossiliferoos, lying 
below the original * lingula flags ' of Sedgwick, which lasl 
I have always held to be the only rocks for which the Cam- 
bridge Professor had any right to claim hia name of * Cam- 
brian,' as distinguished from Sir Roderick's ' Silurian.' 
Within the last two months Dr. Hicks has found id purple 
shales mineralogically like those of the Longmynd, organic 
remains (a new Lingulella and a bivalve entomoatracan) 
1,200 feet below the fossils previously discovered. Higher 
up in the Lower Cambrian series are twelve genera of TriJo- 
bites, &c., like those of Barrande's primordial, but one or two 
new fonns and many new species ; one species of Para- 
doxides more than twenty inches in length ; all in the ancient 
azoic. I was much pleased with the sight of the raised 
beach at the NE. end of Caldy Island, with its pebbles and 
littoral shells some fifteen feet above high water mark. 
Leonard also took me to a good example of the aame beach 
at Giltar Point, with littoral shells, and there are three layers 
separated by blown aand of full-grown eatable shells at the 
top of Giltar Point, apparently refuse heaps of the ancient 
molluacophagous inhabitants; these, I suppose, are nearly 200 
feet high. He has also found a raised beach at the top of 


Merlin's Cave, a cavern in the limestone in the cliflF near the 
western suburbs of Tenbj. 

When there are raised beaches and submerged forests, it 
is difficult enough to restore in imagination the succession 
of geographical changes. The difficulty becomes greater 
when jou have to make due allowance for the relative age 
of two other sets of phenomena, viz. the glacial drift and the 
lines of lofty cliffs bounding the present sea, and sometimes 
undermined by the waves. 

I made two attempts to dig through the submerged 
forest of Amroth at low tide. The first day we went down 
five feet without going through the beds containing vegetable 
matter. The second day, nearer the cliff, Leonard got to 
what seemed a sea beach, after passing through the beds 
containing the stumps and roots of trees, at the depth of about 
four feet. 

Dr. Hicks says that in the absence of marine shells we 
ought not to assume that a bed of clay or mnd with sub- 
angular and rounded pebbles was an old beach like the 
present, because it may have been glacial ^ till ' with boulders. 
In support of this view he says that the submerged forest of 
Whitesand Bay certainly grew on * till ' containing glaciated 
stones, and I remember seeing * till ' with true arctic shells 
at about the level of the sea at the Great Orme's Head, and 
there are submerged forests in tliat neighbourhood. 

When you say that the old forest extended across the 
Bristol Channel, which I think highly probable, do you 
suppose that the lofty cliffs of Hfracombe and of Tenby 
and its neighbourhood were not only in existence, but were 
even of pre-glacial date P 

Believe me, my dear Symonds, 

Ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Pbofessob Haeokel. 

London : November 23, 1868. 

My dear Sir, — I have to thank you for your kindness in 
sending me a copy of your important work on the * History 
of Creation/ and especially for the chapter entitled ^On 

F F !t 

436 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xxxn 

Lyell and Darwin.* Most of the zoologists forgfet tha 
anything was written between the time of Lamarck and th 
publication of our friend's * Origin of Species.* 

I am therefore obliged to you for pointing* out hoi 
clearly I advocated a law of continuity even in the organi* 
world, so far as possible without adopting Lamarck's theon 
of transmutation. 1 believe that mine was the first worl 
(published in January 1832) in which any attempt had beer 
made to prove that while the causes now in action continue 
to produce unceasing variations in the climate and phjsiea! 
geography of the globe, and endless migration of species, 
there must be a perpetual dying out of animals and plants, 
not suddenly and by whole groups at once, but one after 
another. I contended that this succession of species was 
now going on, and always had been ; that there was a con- 
stant struggle for existence, as De CandoUe had pointed out, 
and that in the battle for life some were always increasing 
their numbers at the expense of others, some advancing, 
others becoming exterminated. 

But while I taught that as often as certain forms of 
animals and plants disappeared, for reasons quite intelligible 
to lis, others took their place by virtue Of a causation which 
was boyoiid our comprehension ; it remained for Darwin to 
accumulate proof that there is no break between the incominor 
and the outgoing species, that they are the work of evolution, 
and not of special creation. 

It was natural, as you remark, that Cuvier's doctrine of 
sudden revolutions in the animate and the inanimate world 
should lead not only to the doctrine of catastrophes, such 
as Elie de Beaunicnt's sudden formation of mountain chains, 
but to a similar creed in regard to the organic world. A. 
D'Orbigny gave us twenty-seven stages or groups of living 
leings, all the species in each of which were so distinct that 
none of them passed from one to the other stage. Agassiz 
still inclined to tlie same notion, the sudden annihilation of 
one set of inhabitants of the globe, and the coming upon 
the stage in the next geological period of a perfectly distinct 
set. I had certainly prepared the way in this country, in 
six editions of my work before the ' Vestiges of Creation ' 
appeared in 1842, for the reception of Darwin's gradual and 

1 868. APE ORIGIN OF MAN. 4-^ 


insensible evolution of species, and I am very glad that you 
noticed this, and also the influence of Cuvier's work, which 
in an English dress, translated by Professor Jamieson, went 
through almost as many editions in this country as in France, 
and exercised great authority long after my * Principles ' 
began to be popular. No part of your new work has produced 
Ruch an eflPect as the pictures of the embryological state of 
man and the dog at corresponding ages, and figures of man, 
dog, tortoise, and fowl in the embryo. I am surprised to 
observe how much even very gr)od naturalists are persuaded 
by the evidence of these woodcuts, as if although they pre- 
viously had admitted the analogy, they had never thoroughly 
felt the force of it till they saw the facts as represented by 
you. Some of those to whom the ape origin of man is a 
very unwelcome doctrine, have tried to lessen the eflFect of 
these woodcuts by saying they must be a little flattered, 
like the physiognomies of men and apes given in your 
frontispiece, for some of these last are accused of being 
caricatures, the artist being supposed to have put a little 
too much of the ape into the human, and of the man into 
the Simian countenance and features. 

For my own part I think I would rather have seen the 
embryological figures in the frontispiece. I think they would 
have induced a greater number to become readers, and would 
have inspired more faith, but perhaps the publisher would 
be of a different opinion. It is one of those cases in which 
one would like to have the real photographs of each coun- 
tenance, as there could not then be any cavilling, however 
great the resemblance between the two portraits. 

Charles Ltell, 

488 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap. xl. 


APBIL 1869-FEBBnART 1875. 


[He made excursions to Norfolk and Suffolk in 1869, and later on 
to Westmoreland on his way to Forfarshire, and thence he made an 
expedition with Lady Lyell and his nephew to Boss-shire by Inchna- 
diimfif and Ullapool, returning by the parallel roads of Glen Roy. 

In 1870 he vii>ited Dunster, Minehead, and Ilfracombe in Somer- 
setshire, and in August went to Scotland, to the Isle of Arran, and 
after spending some weeks at Ambleside joined the British Associa- 
tion at LiverjK)ol. 

In April 1871 he made a tour in Cornwall, to Tintagel, the Land's 
End, and Penzance, and in the following summer he spent some time 
in Yorkshire and Westmoreland. 

In April 1872 Sir Charles and Lady Lyell went to the south of 
France, to the Caves of Aurignac. In these last journeys, when his 
sight and bodily powers had become more enfeebled, he enjoyed the 
advantage of the companionship of Mr. Hughes,* whose zeal for 
geology and whose powers of observation rendered him a most useful 
as well as agreeable fellow-traveller. 

In the spring of 1873 Sir Charles had the affliction of losing hLs 
beloved wife, his companion and helpmate, with whom he had had 
forty years of unbroken happiness. 

This severe blow fell heavily on his already broken health, but to 
hLs science alone he felt he must turn, to arouse him for the short 
time he had yet to live, and he determined to fulfil what he had 
planned with her ; so eilling on the friend who had promised again 
to accompany them, and with a sister (who devoted herself to him for 

' T. M'Kenna Hughes, Esq., Woodwardian Professor of Geology at the 
University of Cambridge. 


tbe rest of his days), he went abroad this autamn, and visited his 
friend Professor Heer of Ziirich. 

In June 1874 he went to Cambridge, to receive the honorary 
degree of LL.D., and that same month weus admitted to the freedom 
of the Turners' Company in the City of London. He then spent some 
weeks in Forfarshire, and found pleasure in visiting some of his 
earliest geological haunts, and in finding that his theories of fifty 
years past still held good. He invited Mr. Judd ' to join him, and 
went with him to several points of interest. 

On November 5, the fiftieth anniversary of the Geological Society 
Club, of which he had been a member from its foundation, he at- 
tended the dinner, and spoke with a vigour which surprised his 

His failing eyesight and other infirmities now began to increase 
rapidly, and towards the close of the year he became very feeble. 
But his spirit was ever alive to his old beloved science, and his affec- 
tionate interest and thought for those about him never failed. He 
dined downstairs on Christmas Day with his brother's family, but 
shortly after that kept to his room.] 

To SiE Charles Bunbuey. 

Cromer : April 6, 1869. 

My dear Bunbury, — I will dictate a few lines to you on 
the geology which Leonard and 1 have been seeing since 
April, when we went to Aldborough, where we resumed the 
work which was interrupted last year by the British Asso- 
ciation meeting at Norwich. 

From Aldborough we went by Southwold to Lowestoft, 
seeing the coast at Kessingland and Pakefield by the way. 
It is a great satisfaction to see a continuous section for 
miles unbroken of such deposits as one only gets a peep of 
in isolated pits in your county, without any means of guess- 
ing their relative age. We first had this advantage in the 
cliflf at Easton Bavent, where the yellow sands and gravel 
beds of Lord Stradbroke's park at Henham and Wangfford 
are well displayed. But I wished much I could have had 
the advantage of walking with you along the Kessingland 
and Pakefield cliff, about fifty and sixty feet high, where at 

* Now Professor of Geology at Soath Kensington School. 

440 S/R CHARLES LYELL. chap, xl 

the base for more tlian a mile, in a bed of what I formerlj 
called green till, a homogeneous unstratified clay, I fonnd 
upright plants or shrubs, standing vertical with their roots 
in the same green soil (apparently tap-roots), also vertical 
and a foot or more long. In one place, near F^efield, this 
lower stratum was laminated, and contained prostrate flat* 
tened trees, a foot or more in diameter. Over this g^reen 
till, with plants in situ (of which I have kept a few speci- 
mens to show you), reposes stratified sand many yards thick, 
and over this drift, with plicated boulders of chalk, lias with 
fossils (Avicula cygnipes), numerous ammonites, belemnites, 
pieces of mica-schist, sandstone, greenstone, and other rocks. 
It is strange to see this glacial drift covering the bed for a 
mile and a half with trees which must have grown in atiUy 
and must have sunk down so as to allow first the sand, and 
then the boulder cluy to accumulate over it. 

We could find no shells, freshwater or marine, with the 
plants. But in the Norfolk clifiPs at Happisburgh, about 
sixty feet high, we found a diflFerent kind of drift, the 
matrix of which is a green clay much resembling in appear- 
ance, and in being generally without laminse or stratifica- 
tion, the Pakefield plant-bed, but containing boulders of all 
kinds, with numerous pieces of chalk and chalk-flints^ many 
of the rocks well glaciated. But although, when washed out 
of the till, they formed fine piles on the beach, they are so 
sparse as not to interfere with the general green colour of 
the mass. In a bed of gravel, two feet thick and several 
yards long, in the middle of this green till, we found a bed 
of pebbles like a fragment of an old beach, with a single 
valve of Tellina solidula, perfect, and some pieces of Cardinm 
edule. In the same green boulder clay, on both sides of 
Happisburgh, we found small pieces of the same Cardium, 
and of what seemed to be Cyprina Jslandica, and one perfect 
valve, but usually only small pieces of the Tellina, and no 
other shells whatever, in this glacial drift. I suppose there- 
fore we must set it down as a marine formation ; and under- 
jieath it, from Happisburgh to Cromer, comes the famous 
lignite bed and submarine forest, which must have sunk 
down to allow of the unquestionable glacial formation being 
everywhere superimposed. 

1869. CHALK PINNACLE. 441 

We found the lignite during a walk along the cliffs this 
morning, and were shown the place where prostrate trees 
and some stumps of the forest were exposed by some recent 
high tides, though they are now buried again under shingle 
and sand. We also found ferruginous or reddish-coloured 
concretions with dicotyledonous leaves, which, though we 
did not find them in sitUy must, I suppose, have come from 
the lignite or forest bed, from which I suppose Heer might 
in time construct a flora to add to the spruce fir, Meny- 
anthes, &c. 

Leonard and I have just returned from Sherringham, 
where I found that the splendid old Hythe pinnacle of chalk 
in which the flints were vertical, between seventy and eighty 
feet high, the grandest erratic in the world, of which I gave 
a figure in the first edition of my * Principles,' has totally 
disappeared. The sea has advanced on the lofty cliff so 
much in the last ten years, that it may well have carrif^d 
away the whole pinnacle in the thirty years which have 
elapsed smce our first visit. 

We are going to-morrow to revisit Mundesley. 
Believe me ever, with love to Frances, 

Affectionately yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To Chaeles Daewin, Esq. 

May 5, 1869. 

I am pleased at the impression which the historical part 
of Wallace's review ' made on you. It reminds me of 
Ouvier's daughter, a charming and intelligent girl, telling 
me she had been reading my book (vol. i. of * Principles ') 
to her father, and that they had been struck with the 
complete antagonism of my views to those which he had 
propounded in his * Theory of the Earth.' 

1 was always made to feel myself a welcome guest at 
Cuvier's soirees, but he never alluded to my book, and but 
for Mademoiselle Cuvier's saying she had been reading it to 
him in their carriage as they drove out, I should never have 
known he had seen it. 

t ( 

Geological Time and the Origin of Species.* Quarterly Reciew, 

442 SIR CHARLES LYELL, chap. xl. 

I quite agree with you that Wallace's sketch of natural 
selection is admirable. I wrote to tell him so after I had 
read the article, and in regard to the concluding theory, 1 
reminded him that as to the origin of man's intellectual and 
moral nature I had allowed in mj first edition that its in- 
troduction was a real innovation, interrupting the aniform 
course of the causation previously at work on the eartli. I 
was therefore not opposed to his idea/ that the Supreme 
Intelligence might possibly direct variation in a way analo- 
gous to that in which even the limited powers of man might 
guide it in selection, as in the case of the breeder and 
horticulturist. In other words, as I feel that progressive 
development or evolution cannot be entirely explained bj 
natural selection, I rather hail Wallace's suggestion that 
there may be a Supreme Will and Power which may not abdi- 
cate its functions of interference, but may guide the forces 
and laws of Nature. This seems to me the more probable 
when I consider, not without wonder, that we should be per- 
mitted to give rise to a monstrosity like the pouter pigeon, 
and to cause it to breed true for an indefinite number of 
generations, certainly not to the advantage of the variety or 
species so created. 

At the same time I told Wallace that I thought his 
arguments, as to the hand, the voice, the beauty and 
the symmetry, the naked skin, and other attributes of man, 
implying a preparation for his subsequent development, 
might easily be controverted ; that a parrot endowed with 
the powers of Shakspeare might dictate the * Midsummer 
Night's Dream,' and that Michael Angelo, if he had no 
better hand than belongs to some of the higher apes, might 
have executed the statue of Lorenzo de' Medici. 

In reply to this and other analogous comments, Wallace 
said : ' It seems to me that if we once admit the necessity of 
any action beyond " natural selection " in developing man, we 
have no reason whatever for confining that action to his brain. 
On the mere doctrine of chances, it seems to me in the highest 
degree improbable that so many points of structure all tend- 
ing to favour his mental development should concur in man, 
and in man alone of all animals. If the erect posture^ the 
freedom of the anterior limbs for purposes of locomotion^ the 


powerful and opposable thumb, the naked skin, and the great 
symmetry offorcey the perfect organs of speechy and his mental 
faculties, calculation ofnunibersy ideas of symmetry ^ oijustice^ of 
abstract reasoning^ of the infinite, of a future state, and many 
others, cannot be shown to be each and all useful to man in the 
very lowest state of civilisation, how are we to explain their co- 
existence in him alone of the whole series of organised beings ? 
Years ago I saw a Bushman boy and girl in London, and the 
girl played very nicely on the piano. Blind Tom, the idiot 
NegrOy had a musical ear or brainy perhaps superior to that of 
any living man. Unless you can show me how this rudi- 
mentary or latent musical faculty in the lowest races can have 
been developed by survival of the fittest, can have been of use 
to the individual or the race, so as to cause those who possessed 
it to win in the struggle for life, I must believe that some 
other power caused that development, and so on with every 
other especially human characteristic. It seems to me that 
the onus probandi will lie with those who maintain that man, 
body and mind, could have been developed from a quadru- 
manous animal by natural selection.' 

As to the scooping out of lake-basins by glaciers, I have 
had a long, amicable, but controversial correspondence with 
Wallace on that subject, and I cannot get over (as, indeed, 
I have admitted in print) an intimate connection between 
the number of lakes of modern date and the glaciation of 
the regions containing them. But as we do not know how 
ice can scoop out Lago Maggiore to a depth of 2,600 feet, of 
which all but 600 is below the level of the sea, getting rid of 
the rock supposed to be worn away as if it was salt that had 
melted, I feel that it is a dangerous causation to admit in 
explanation of every cavity which we have to account for, 
including Lake Superior. They who use it seem to me to 
have it always at hand, like the * diluvial wave, or the wave 
of translation,' or the * convulsion of nature or catastrophe ' 
of the old paroxysmists. 

I have just got a letter from Professor Leslie^ and an 
important paper by him in the American * Philosophical 
Society ' for 1862, and another on a projected map, * intended 
to illustrate five types of earth-surface in the United States,' 
published in 1866. He was formerly a catastrophist, but of 

44 1 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xu 

late years he seems to have anticipated Geikie and Croll in 
regard to sub-aeiial denudation, giving, like them, too little 
to the sea. But he is a man intimately acquainted "with the 
Appalachians, and he gives his reasons for not believing that 
the ice-sheet has had any hand in eroding the Appalachians. 
It has polished the surface, and carried erratics so far as 
mid-Pennsylvania, and no farther; but the surface erosion is 
just as great in Southern Pennsylvania and Virginia, &c., 
which was not reached by the ice, and where there is not a 
single glacial scratch or groove. He says that the large map 
which he has planned will make the ice-scooping of lakes in 
the United States appear as absurd as if applied to tropical 
Africa or the Albert Nyanza Lake. 

Believe me ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

To Propessoe Heee. 

73 Harley Street : November 4, 1869. 

My dear Heer, — I ought sooner to have acknowledged 
the receipt of your beautifully illustrated paper from the 
' Fossil Flora of Alaska,' which I have looked at with more 
interest from what you told me in your letter of the light 
which it throws ou the isothernials of the Miocene period. 

That this flora should have ranged with so little varia- 
tion over 10° of latitude in the Miocene period, will have 
a great bearing on those who are ready with so little 
ceremony to shift the place of the earth's axis of rotation 
when it suits their theoretical views. The late deep sea 
dredging expeditions to the Faroe Islands have shown that 
in our northern sea, cold and warm areas occur at the depths 
of from 2,000 to 3,000 feet below a surface having a uniform 
temperature, and from which such a variation of climate 
would not have been expected. These different climates 
occur in the same latitudes in areas sometimes fifty, some- 
times less thtin twenty geographical miles apaii;. The 
marine fauna consists of distinct species in the cold areas 
where the current comes from the North or the Arctic regions, 
and in the warm areas where the water is brought from the 
South or Gulf-stream. It is only a small proportion of cos^ 


mopolitan species and genera which are common to the two 
distinct climat«al areas. Last year they came away with 
an idea that the cold areas where the water is about 30** 
Fahr. were very barren of organic remains, but a totally 
new dredging apparatus has shown that this was a great 
error. They have also visited a region 260 miles south of 
the island of Ouessant in the Bay of Biscay, where the depth 
was 15,000 feet, or within a very few feet of that depth, the 
same as the height of Mont Blanc, and they have found 
abundance of life of different classes at this enormous 

Aa you will soon see more particulars in the * Proceedings 
of the Royal Society,' I will not attempt to give you more 
of what I have learnt from conversation with the dredgers. 

Believe me, my dear Heer, ever most truly yours, 

Chables Lyell. 

To George Ticknor, Esq. 

May 31, 1870. 

My dear Ticknor, — I have been reading with great 
interest the eloquent passages which you pointed out in the 
* Life of Daniel Webster ' by Mr. Curtis. Such eulogies 
from two men of such weight, and addressed to a large 
public during a man's lifetime, are a splendid monument to 
his memory. 

I go out as little as possible, as I like to go to bed at 
nine o'clock, and it is scarce any use to start now for an 
evening party till half-past ten o'clock. We were asked to 
an evening at the Van de Weyers', to meet the King of the 
Belgians, and it was no loss to me to learn that they were 
obliged to put off the party because some previous balls had 
caused a crack in the wall of their house, and a surveyor 
said that an additional weight would bring the rooms down. 
The Motleys gave a grand reception to the king in the 
same street, which Mary went to. 

But to return to Curtis's * Life of Webster.' I have been 
too busy with my own new edition of the * Elements of 
Geology,' to be able as yet to do more than turn over the 
pages, but I was surprised to see in a note at p. 586, that 

446 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xl 

woman's suffrage was a matter already familiarly discussed 
in 1852 on your side of the water. We have heard a great 
deal of it lately on our side, and though I approve of much 
in J. S. Mill's * Subjection of Women,' and have always 
thought that there was much to rectify in our legislature, I 
confess I should look with alarm if I thought a great exten- 
sion of suffrage should take place, including women as well 
as men. We should never have passed the disestablishment 
of the Irish Church, if the vote of the English clergy had 
been strengthened by that of all the women whom they 
could have influenced to oppose it. It would be a formidable 
Tory measure, and might, I think, delay educational reforms. 
But it seems undeniable that property ought to be- repre- 
sented under a system like ours, whether in the hands of 
women or men. 

With love to Mrs. Ticknor and Anne, 

Yours very affectionately, 

Chables LyelIi. 

To Pbofessob Heeb. 

73 Harley Street, London : June 13, 1870. 

My dear Heer, — A few days ago I sent you part of Mr. 
President Bentham's address to the Linnsean Society, in 
which he disputes all determinations of Proteacese by fossil 
leaves, and says that the few imperfect specimens of fossil 
fruits referred to the same order of plants are not sufficient 
to prove their former existence in Europe. He does not say 
to what other order we may suppose that all these leaves, so 
like those of Proteacese, may belong. I suspect from one 
expression in his speech, that he thinks we ought to require 
more proof because the present countries of the Proteaceae 
(the Cape and Australia) are so distant, and so detached 
from Europe. But he does not reflect that the Falunian or 
Upper Miocene flora must have derived its species direct 
or by modification from the Lower Molasse or Older Miocene 
(Oligocene) period, and before this time there were Eocene 
Proteaceae in Europe ; and still farther back, as at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, there was a rich flora in the time of the White 
Chalk, comprehending, if I mistake not, Proteaceous 
genera (?) 

1 87a ON FOSSIL PLANTS. 447 

Now the land of the Cretaceous period diflFered so entirely 
in its geographical distribution from our present continents, 
that the species of plants that you have called Proteaceous, 
to whatever family they may have belonged, are as likely to 
have spread from Europe to the Cape or to Australia, as to 
have travelled from those countries into the European area. 
Mr. Bentham must admit that the plants which you and 
other botanists have conjectured to be Proteaceous, do not 
belong to any of our actual European trees. They once 
flourished here, and when they died out they may have 
found an habitation elsewhere. As we are certain that they 
lived in Europe at the period of the White Chalk, and went 
on diminishing in successive tertiary periods till they 
became extinct in Europe, it is safer to suppose that they 
went from Europe to Southern Africa and Australia, than to 
assume that they came from those countries into our area. 
For if we were to adopt the latter hypothesis, we must begin 
by assuming that there was land in South Africa and 
Australia before the White Chalk was formed, of which, 
however probable it may be, we have no positive proof, still 
less that such land was inhabited by trees which had a 
foliage like ProteacesB. 

In conversation I told Mr. Bentham that you had often 
begun by determining the leaves, and years afterwards dis- 
covered the fruit, as in the case of the chestnut found in the 

I believe that these determined botanical sceptics do 
harm by undervaluing paleontological evidence, and exert- 
ing themselves to bring it into contempt. If they succeed 
in making geologists believe that fossil plants are of little or 
no value, this important branch of organic remains will not 
be cultivated with the zeal and scientific skill to which it is 
entitled. I wish therefore to make as good a fight as I can 
in a new edition of my * Elements,' of which we are going to 
print 5,000 copies or more. Any assistance you can give me 
will be of real use to the cause. 

Believe me, my dear Heer, ever faithfully yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

443 S/J^ CHARLES LYELL. chap, xu 

To Dr. Hooker. 

73 Harley Street, Tendon : February 14, 1871. 

My dear Hooker, — I got your letter at Barton, and was 
much pleased to hear that you had been dipping into the 
* Elements,' and were pleased with it and criticising it. I 
was afraid of alluding to the rarity of lakes on the south 
side of the Himalaya, though I can quite believe that there 
ought to be such lakes if the ice-scooping theory -were true, 
to the extent of accounting for such basins as the Lago 
Maggiore, Geneva, &c. I saw yesterday James D. Hague, a 
mining engineer of the United States, returned from a 
survey of California, who says that the American geologists 
have convinced themselves that the great basin between the 
Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, in which the Utah 
Salt Lake, amongst other water-bearing depressions occurs, 
was, in comparatively modem tertiary times, a great fresh- 
water lake, 600 feet deep, and of much larger dimensions 
than Lake Superior. If, as they suppose, this lake was 
formed chiefly by anticlinal and synclinal folds, connected 
with the structure of the adjoining mountain chains, an 
analogous origin may be ascribed, in great part at least, to 
Lake Superior and many minor lakes. 

I found that Charles Bunbury had been marking in your 
' Student's Flora ' all the species of flowering plants growing 
in his park, and he was full of praise of the manner in which 
your work was executed after sfoing into much of the details 
of it. I am reading Mivart's ' Genesis of Species,' and am 
only half through ; it improves greatly as I proceed. I 
thought his first objection, that so many other Ungulata 
ought to have long necks as well as the giraffe, a very poor 
one ai]:ainst natural selection. But the difficulty about the 
eyes of the cuttle-fish, dragon-flies, and man, is very well 

Believe me ever most truly yours, 

Charles Lyell. 

P.S. I am very glad of your hint about ice-shoots or ava- 
lanches. I am convinced they would explain what nothing 
else can, the large boulders and erratics on the lower side 
of the Forfarshire tarns. 

1 8; I. MO EL TRYFAEN, 449 

To Sir Charles Bunbury. 

Crown Hotel, Penrith : August 18, 1871. 

My dear Bunbury, — I have been enjoying very much my 
tour of inspection, avoiding any regular work, and tiying to 
make it a tour of rest, which is difficult. After being in the 
more central region of Buxton, I crossed the watershed of 
Axe Edge to the county of Cheshire above Macclesfield, 
where Prestwich announced that he had seen marine shells 
in the drift at the height of upwards of 1,200 feet. I am 
satisfied that the Moel Tryfaen marine fauna is found in the 
stratified drift not only at tthat height, but nearly, if not 
quite, at as great an elevation as at Moel Tryfaen, but the 
newly-discovered locality, ascending to nearly 1,400 feet 
inland from Macclesfield, has not been trigonometrically 
measured — the point is about seventy-four English miles, as 
the crow flies, from Moel Tryfaen. Is not this a surprising 
fact? implying that such a great body of land has been 
uplifted in post-pliocene times, for the shells, more than fifty 
in number, are all of recent species, and by no means like 
those of Moel Tryfaen ; as a whole very glacial. The rarity 
of marine shells in intervening tracts is so puzzling. In 
the Lake district, though there are stratified drifts 1.200 feet 
high, I could not h^ar of a fragment of marine shells any 
more than in the Matlock and Buxton region. Yet if the 
country was now submerged 1,400 feet or more, I should 
think the sea would find its way to Chatsworth. 

Ever afiFectionately yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To Professor Heer. 

73 Harlcy Street, London : March Ifi, 1873. 

My dear Heer, — I have just seen Sir. Carruthers, who tells 
uje that he now thinks that the cumulative evidence in 
favour of the existence of the order Proteacese in the Eocene 
period in Great Britain is overwhelmingly strong. Two or 
three years ago, when Bentham published his article denying 
that this could be proved by the evidence of any of the fossil 
leaves yet discovered, or by any of the cones in the Sheppey 



Eocene claya believed by Bowerbank to be Proteaeeous, 
Carrutbers wa^ afraid to adopt sucb opinions, so that I 
very glad tbat the Btrueture of some British tertiarj wc 
and a great abundance of Eocene leaves found at Bout 
mouth, in Hampshire, has converted him to opinions yvh 
you have long held. I was always persuaded that y 
opinion would turn out to be correct, but shall be glad 
be able to cite the keeper of the botanical collections in 
British Museum as being convinced that your views are v 

You kindly wish me to toll you of my health and thai 
Lady Lyell. As I am now half way through my seventy-fi 
year, you will not be surprised to learn that my eyes, wh 
have always been weak itom boyhood, are beginning to i 
me, so that I am obliged to depend on other people 
writing from dictation all my letters to correspondents, s 
for reading all the books which I study ; but I am a 
to walk, enjoy life and society in moderation, and if y 
could come to England when I am at home, I should 
happy to show you hospitality. Tour letters are always 
great treat to me, 

[My dear Mr. Heer, I am perfectly well, thank you, a 
should be very glad to see you again. 

Very sincerely yours,* 

Mart E. Lyell.] 
Yonrs very faithfully, 

Chakles Lyell. 

To Peopessor Heer. 

73 Harley Street, London : Jnly 7, 1873, 
My dear Heer, — I have to thank you very much for yon 
last two letters, which have been of extreme interest to nn 
Indeed, the determination which you have made of th 
cretaceous plants of Greenland and Spiizbergen, sent hom 
by Professor Nordenskjold, appears to me one of the mot 
important scientific discoveries which has been made fo 

* Xote hy 3Ir. llrer : ' Mad. Lyell slurb an 25 Ai)ril 1873 ; also 6 Woche 
□aclidem eie obigen gcschriebeD.' 

1 873. DEATH OF HIS WIFE. 4ol 

some time. My object in writing to you now is to say that 
I am going to make a tour on the Continent with my sister, 
and hope about the second or third week in August to be in 
Zurich. It would give me so much pleasure to see you, if 
you are likely to be there, and if your health is good enough 
to enable you to accompany me in some short expeditions 
such as my own health will allow of. But if, as I fear from 
your last letter, you may not be equal even to so much of a 
geological excursion to Utznach, &c., as I hope to accomplish 
in company with my friend Hughes, now Professor of Geo- 
logy at Cambridge, I shall still trust to my being able to 
obtain instructions from you respecting the position and 
nature of the lignite of Utznach, Diirnten, Wetzikon, &c. 

I have not written to you since the sudden and unex- 
pected death on April 24 of my dear wife, with whom you 
were so well acquainted, and you can, I am sure, appreciate 
the shock which this has given me. I endeavour by daily 
work at my favourite science to forget as far as possible the 
dreadful change which this has made in my existence. At my 
age of nearly seventy-six, the separation cannot be very long, 
but as she was twelve years younger, and youthful and vigor- 
ous for her age, I naturally never contemplated my surviving 
her, and could hardly believe it when the calamity happened. 
A feverish cold carried her off almost without pain or suffer- 

I should be very glad to hear from you what chance I 
have of finding you in Ziirich or the neighbourhood. 

It will be a great pleasure to see an old friend whom I 
knew in happier days. 

Ever afifectionately yours, 

Charles Ltell. 

To Miss F. P. Cobbe. 

73 Harley Street : July 20, 1873. 

My dear Miss Cobbe, — I have been so taken up with my 
Geology (a new edition of the * Student's Elements * having 
to be prepared), that I begin to be afraid that I shall not 
keep my promise of writing to you before I go abroad, if I 

* See Appendix B. 
o o 2 

452 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xi 

delay any longer. Tour articles on a * Future State ' in th 
* Theological Review' have interested me much, but the; 
conBrm my opinion that we are so much out of our deptl 
when we attempt to treat of this subject, that we gain littl 
but doubt in such speculation. 

I have, however, been much struck with your answer i 
those strange opinions thrown out by W. E. Greg in hi 
chapter on ' Elsewhere,' which is, I think, very original an< 
satisfactory ; for when one looks back forty years, and feeli 
compunction for many things one has done, it is wonderfu 
what allowances one makes, because we feel that we ar< 
judging ourselves, and regard our former self with g^reat in- 
dulgence, while at the same time it is like contemplating t 
diflFerent individual. 

I am told that the same philosophy which is opposed tc 
a belief in a future state, undertakes to prove that every one 
of our acts and thoughts are the necessary result of antece- 
dent events and conditions, and that there can be no such 
thing as free-will in man. I am quite content that both 
doctrines should stand on the same foundation, for as I 
cannot help being convinced that I have the power of exert- 
ing free-will, however great a mystery the possibility of this 
may be, so the continuance of a spiritual life may be true, 
however inexplicable or incapable of proof. 

But I will not weary you with more of my lucubrations, 
which, as I am oblijiifed to dictate them to an amanuensis, 
may appear in a stiflFer form than if I was able to use my 
own pen. 

I am told by some that if any of our traditionary beliefs 
make us happier, and lead us to estimate humanity more 
highly, we ought to be careful not to endeavour to establish 
any scientific truths which would lessen and lower our esti- 
mate of man's place in nature ; in short, we should do no- 
thing to disturb any man's faith, if it be a delusion which 
increases his happiness. But I hope and believe that the 
discovery and propagation of every truth, and the dispelling 
of every error, tends to improve and better the condition of 
man, though tlie act of reforming old opinions and institu- 
tions causes so much pain and misery. 

I expect to leave town for the Ehine before the end of 


this week, and shall be in Switzerland in August. My sister 
Katharine is on her way to Innsbruck with Arthur and 

Ever most faithfully yours, 

Chaeles Lyell. 

To the Duke op Aegyll. 

Shielhill, Kirriemuir: August 16, 1874. 

My dear Duke of Argyll, — I was very glad to get your 
letter, and much interested in the two raised beaches of the 
Island of Jura. I have long been thinking that we may be 
under a great delusion when we find proofs of upheaval in 
ascribing to the movement an almost indefinite lateral ex- 
tension, whereas all the evidence which we have in regard 
to the modern effects of earthquakes runs quite in a contrary 

I wish I could feel sure that you have in your library at 
Inverary a copy of the eleventh edition of my * Principles of 
Geology,' but on second thoughts I have determined to send 
you by book-post the second volume, which you can return 
to me when you have quite done with it. 1 beg you will 
read attentively my account of the earthquake of New Zea- 
land in 1855. 

I may as well tell you that a few months before I left 
town a diploma was sent to me from a New Zealand Insti- 
tute, given to me as the author of the most full and correct 
account of what happened during that great convulsion, and 
it was quite clear from letters then received, that the informa- 
tion I had given, derived from authorities peculiarly trust- 
worthy, had been in no wise impaired by subsequent events 
or criticisms. 

Having this event in my mind, I thought your first 
address to the Geological Society peculiarly telling, and I 
do not see how any one who is willing to interpret the 
former changes of the earth's surface by the light of those 
now going on can pretend to refer any rock basin to ice- 
scooping in preference to such movements as took place 
north and south of Cook's Straits in 1855. 

Mr. Judd, whose paper on the * Geology of the Hebrides ' 

4oi SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xl 

occupies worthily so large a portion of the August numbei 
of the * Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society,' has l>eei 
staying here at my sister's for the last month. Coniin£ 
fresh from Naples, Sicily, the Lipari, and Ponza Islands, anc 
having seen their examples of volcanic eruptions of even 
kind mineralogically diversified, from the traehytic to th< 
basaltic extreme of composition, he finds here in thii 
county every variety of igneous rock, exhibiting* exac 
counterparts of modern lavas, from quartz, porphyry of Vol 
cano, one of the Lipari group, to dolerite and basalt, such ai 
you have in Fingal's Cave and other parts of the Westen 
Islands. The great east and west dyke which traverses thii 
county, described by me nearly fifty years ago as containing 
serpentine diallage, greenstone, quartz, porphyry, dolomite 
hypersthene, &c., Judd has re-examined, and I am happi 
to say he finds nothing to alter, and what he has observe< 
with me bearing on the section given in the * Geologica 
Transactions ' for 1826, he also finds quite correct. He re 
gards our numerous east and west greenstone dikes cutting 
through the old red sandstone, as lavas which filled up rent: 
which passed vertically through the rocks which they tra- 
verse, and which, but for the subsequent denudation of 2,00( 
feet, would end in Puys like those of the carboniferous strati 
of Fife, or like Arthur's Seat. 

Have you read in the newly issued volume of oui 
Society's Memoirs the paper by Janiieson of Ellon, on the 
' Last Staere of the Glacial in North Britain ' ? I think it is 
very suggestive, especially the intimate connection pointed 
out between the present excess of rainfall on the westerr 
side of Scotland as compared with that of the eastern being 
analogous to the excess of glaciation on the corresponding 
sides. It seems to show a connection between the preseni 
meteorological agencies and those of the glacial period 
which may help us to explain the great differences in the 
glacial age of the excess of snow and ice in parts of the 
northern hemisphere not very distant, and it may perhaps 
help to explain how plants and animals of tropical forms 
managed to escape being extinguished during the ice age, 
I am greatly in hopes that the north and south axes o: 
movement, which Judd thinks he is going to establish foi 


the Miocene period, will explain the manner in which the 
valleys of Argyllshire and the west of Scotland were con- 
verted into sea lochs and fiords, so that we shall have to 
dispense with the hypothesis of ice action, and exchange it 
for that of fire. 

I have a great deal more to say, and to ask you to ob- 
serve, but shall wait till you have received my book. 

With my compliments to the Duchess of Argyll, believe 
me ever truly yours, 

Ch/lbles Lyell. 

To Chaeles Daewin, Esq. (dictated). 

Shielhill, Kirriemuir, Scotland : September 1, 1874. 

My dear Darwin, — I have been intending from day to 
day to congratulate you on the Belfast meeting, on which 
occasion you and your theory of evolution may be fairly said 
to have had an ovation. Whatever criticisms may be made 
on Tyndall, it cannot be denied that it was a manly and 
fearless out-speaking of his opinions, and no one can 
wonder that the Belfast clergy of the Calvinistic school, three 
or four of them, as I suppose you saw, preached against such 
opinions on the Sabbath in the middle of the scientific week. 
It was principally, I believe, on the question of the efficacy of 
prayer, that objection was taken to the tone adopted by 
scientific writers of late, though I do not remember whether 
this was specially alluded to in the President's address ; but 
Professor Jellet in one of the churches read what may be 
considered a regular argumentative paper on the efficacy 
and propriety of prayer, and I was glad to see that although 
part of his argument may have been special pleading, yet 
he fairly admitted that truth was the chief object to be kept 
in sight, and that unless prayer could be shown to be rational 
no Christian sanction and authority or Scriptural support 
ought to have any weight. I have been spending nine days, 
for the sake of change of air and sea breezes, on the coast 
between Arbroath and Montrose. Near the latter place I saw 
the Rev. H. Mitchell, who has contributed a very good 
paper on the Old Red Sandstone of this part of the world 
to our ' Quarterly Geological Journal.' He showed me his 

4o6 SII^ CHARLES LYELL, chap. xl. 

specimens of crustacean footprints, a long series of tracks, 
with the mark of the body trailing along, accompaDjing 
ripple-marks, and beautiful rain-drops. This seemed to 
bring Pterygottis Anglims vividly before one, while the entire 
absence of marine shells in our Devonian beds, 10,000 feet 
thick, seems confirmatory of their freshwater origin. Perhaps 
there were lakes as large as Lake Superior. 

Mr. Judd (whose important paper on the * Five Great 
Volcanos of the Hebrides * you will have seen), has been stay- 
ing with me here, and I should have much to tell you of 
what I have learnt of our geology. He quite confirmed 
what I have published about Forfarshire. 

Ever aflfectionately yours, 


To the Duke op Aegyll. 

Shielhill, Kirriemuir : September 14, 1874. 

My dear Duke of Argyll, — The reading of Judd's paper, 
and his estimate of the probable height of the five great 
volcanic cones of the Hebrides, has left a very grand impres- 
sion on my mind of those mountains, and when he has fully 
worked up the paleontology and shown what a rich succes- 
sion of life the primary, secondary, and tertiary strata of those 
islands exhibit, it will make a wonderfully grand addition to 
British, I may say to European, geology. 

With regard to your question as to whether the move- 
ment giving rise to the formation of raised beaches (like 
those of the Island of Jura) may not sometimes be of a 
local character, I may refer to an interesting observation of 
Mr. Jamieson of Ellon, to the effect that the twenty-five-foot 
beach of the valley of the Forth gradually diminishes in 
height as we pass northwards, till in Aberdeenshire it is 
only eight feet above the present sea-level. 

In reference to what you say on the outlines of the 
mountains in Skye and Rum, Mr. Judd tells me that the 
great intrusive masses in the Western Isles (whether com- 
posed of granite or gabbro), frequently assume a pseudo- 
stratified appearance when viewed from a distance. Having 
read his paper since you wrote your letter to me, you will 


understand what he means by gabbro, of which the Coolin 
Hills are constituted ; and if you wish for any farther expla- 
nationSy he will be happy at any time to give them in 
reference to the geology of the Hebrides. 

Mr. Judd informs me that he was acquainted with the 
existence, though he has not yet visited your interesting 
little coal-field in Kintyre. The remarkable point about the 
patch of coal strata in Morvern appears to him to be, that 
not only is it considerably to the north of any other exposure 
of carboniferous strata in the British Islands, but that it 
lies on the north-west flank of the great Grampian axis 
constituted by the series of granitic intrusions which extend 
from Peterhead on the north-east to the Ross of Mull on 
the south-west. 

Since I sent you the representation by rubbing of a fossil 
from the coal in Morvern, I have heard from Sir Charles 
Bunbury, to whom I had sent the original specimen, that he 
considers it to be Lepidodendron aculeatuniy a common coal 
species ; he had supposed it to be a Sigillaria. The associated 
fossil is, as Judd thought, a Calamite, so that there can be 
no doubt of the geological age of the formation. 

Judd quite coincides with you in your views as to the 
existence everywhere in the Hebrides of evidences of enor- 
mous denudation, side by side with equally striking proofs of 
grand subterranean movements ; and like yourself, he regards 
the contours of the existing surfaces as the product of the 
continued working side by side of these two classes of forces. 
He was pleased to hear that you had an opportunity of see- 
ing the remarkable outliers of tertiary basalt resting on 
Silurian gneiss (two of which were noticed by Macculloch, 
and which have their exact counterparts in the north of 
Ireland). Ever truly yours, 

Chables Ltell. 

To Chables Dabwin, Esq. 

73 Harley Street, London : September 25, ]874. 

My dear Darwin, — There is no subject to which Judd 
oftener referred, and told me he had done so when discussing 
volcanic questions with Scrope, than your subsidence of St. 

458 SIR CHARLES LYELL. chap, xi 

Jago, as being a general law of volcanic regions. The sinkinj 
down referred to by me (^ Principles ' vol. ii. 458, * Student' 
Elements,' 149-166), as occurring in New Zealand, an< 
which has been confirmed bj the New Zealand geolog^te 
corroborates yonr St Jago experience. 

Just before I left Scotland Judd made an excursion t< 
revisit the Hebrides, and during a ten days' absence dis 
covered for the first time carboniferous strata preserved unde 
some two thousand feet of tertiary badalt in the Island o 
Mull, and he brought to me what I guessed was a Sigillaru 
and the cast of a Calamite ; but when I sent them to Charlei 
Bunbury he pronounced them to be Lepidodendron aculeatun 
and a Calamite, ordinary carboniferous fossils. All this is 
explained by admitting that in the time of the Miocene 
voleanos there was a sinking down like that of St. Jago it 
the island, near the loftiest cone of that island, and one oi 
the five great voleanos which he believes to have existed in 
the Hebrides, and which may have rivalled the Peak ol 
Tenerifie in height, in the Miocene period. How mucli 
I grandeur the scenerj' of the Hebrides must have presented 

J in that same Miocene period, when Madeira was already in 

^ continued action, as well as Poi^to Santo and the Giant's 

; Causeway, &c. ! The Duke of Argyll has sent me word that 

' he has found a fossil 8aU8hu7'ia (now a genus growing in 

! Japan) among the fossils of Ardtun in Mull, where he formerly 

» found Asa platanoides. I wonder whether the cones of the 

Hebrides, if they were as high as Etna or the Peak of 
Tenerifte before the sinking down wliieh you observed in St. 
j Jago had taken place, were covered with snow in the Miocene 

, period, when the vegetation at their base, at Ardtun for 

j exa